Research on exergaming in dementia

Research shows that people with dementia do not exercise enough. And exercise can be so much fun! This can be done well, safely and appropriately with exergaming, for example. The research group “Psychosocial support for people with dementia” at Amsterdam UMC (location VUmc) is conducting research on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of exergaming in people with dementia. In this they collaborate with EmbeddedFitness, among others.

Literature review

One of the first steps was to survey what is already known about the effects of exergaming for people with dementia. There did appear to be some improvement in physical, cognitive and emotional functioning. But the strength of evidence was low and solid research is needed to more clearly demonstrate possible effects. That is now being done through this research on interactive cycling for people with dementia.

Interactive cycling for people with dementia

The research focuses on interactive cycling. This is cycling on a kind of exercise bike where you are shown a route in a particular region on a screen. Research participants are people with dementia who still live at home and attend a day center. At these day centers, they are offered either the regular exercise program or interactive cycling at least twice a week. By looking at the differences between the two groups, we can see what effects exergaming has over a regular exercise program.

Would you like to participate in the study?

For the study, we are looking for three more day centers to participate! Participating day centers will receive compensation for participation and reimbursement for the possible purchase of an exergaming bicycle system. Moreover, they contribute to gathering knowledge on how we can improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their loved ones.

Are you interested in participating? Or would you like to be on the mailing list for the research project’s newsletter? Contact Joeke van der Molen-van Santen: or 020 788 4612 / 06-4088 3215.

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