The design of a purpose-built exergame for fall prediction and prevention for older people

Marston, Hannah R.; Woodbury, Ashley; Gschwind, Yves J.; Kroll, Michael; Fink, Dennis; Eichberg, Sabine; Kreiner, Karl; Ejupi, Andreas; Janneke, Annegarn; de Rosario, Helios; Wienholtz, Arno; Wieching, Rainer and Delbaere, Kim (2016). The design of a purpose-built exergame for fall prediction and prevention for older people. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 12, article no. 13.




Falls in older people represent a major age-related health challenge facing our society. Novel methods for delivery of falls prevention programs are required to increase effectiveness and adherence to these programs while containing costs. The primary aim of the Information and Communications Technology-based System to Predict and Prevent Falls (iStoppFalls) project was to develop innovative home-based technologies for continuous monitoring and exercise-based prevention of falls in community-dwelling older people. The aim of this paper is to describe the components of the iStoppFalls system.


The system comprised of 1) a TV, 2) a PC, 3) the Microsoft Kinect, 4) a wearable sensor and 5) an assessment and training software as the main components.


The iStoppFalls system implements existing technologies to deliver a tailored home-based exercise and education program aimed at reducing fall risk in older people. A risk assessment tool was designed to identify fall risk factors. The content and progression rules of the iStoppFalls exergames were developed from evidence-based fall prevention interventions targeting muscle strength and balance in older people.


The iStoppFalls fall prevention program, used in conjunction with the multifactorial fall risk assessment tool, aims to provide a comprehensive and individualised, yet novel fall risk assessment and prevention program that is feasible for widespread use to prevent falls and fall-related injuries. This work provides a new approach to engage older people in home-based exercise programs to complement or provide a potentially motivational alternative to traditional exercise to reduce the risk of falling.

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