6 Benefits of using the Wii for Occupational Therapy

By Ashley Heron, OTAS and Hannah Robeen, OTAS

Look around you and what do you see? Everyone and or everything revolves around electronics and technology nowadays.

Phones, tablets, televisions, blue tooth headphones, even some cars can parallel park themselves! With the world wirelessly changing it’s no surprise that Occupational Therapy would jump on the wagon.

The Nintendo Wii has proven to be very beneficial for clients of all diagnoses and disorders as part of an occupational therapy treatment plan, especially during cold weather.

Below we have included why Occupational Therapy Practitioners love using the Wii with clients!

Image Source

Nintendo Wii – Image Source

1. Cost Effective

The Wii is cheaper than most tools used in the OT world and is well known. There are tons of different games clients can play that work with different abilities and many simulate everyday activities.

2. Saves Energy

Clients who don’t have enough endurance can become tired easily. With the Wii, the clients can be seated while working on upper body movements. This way the clients can save their energy for other daily activities.

3. It is fun!

The Wii games are more fun than traditional exercises and are visually pleasing. Clients who enjoy bowling, boxing, tennis, golf or any other leisure activities can virtually experience them while working on strength and mobility.

“Adding fun can be an effective way to make activity purposeful and meaningful.” ~ www.myotspot.com

4. Helps Prevent Falls

Most of the Wii games increase strength and endurance while also working on balance. Clients can work on restoring or establishing muscle strength by playing the Wii.

5. Encourages Social Interaction

The Wii encourages clients to play with others and can even create a little competition. By playing with others the client’s motivation can increase and it can inspire the clients to participate.

6. Increases Mental functions

“By playing games on the Wii, clients will be focused on moving the virtual character rather than thinking about left, right, up, and down.” ~ www.myotspot.com

Most games work on problem-solving, timing, and sequencing actions.

Your Turn

What skills have you used while playing the Wii? Let us know in the comments below.