Experiences of people with Parkinson's using the Wii
received feedback from people with Parkinson's, who find that using a Nintendo Wii games console is a
really good way to exercise at home.
They've said that it also helps them with their balance,
movements and mood.
Image right: John Crossley-Stanbury, who has Parkinson's,
using the Wii at home
My fitness and co-ordination have definitely improved.
Tina, 54, is from Kettering, Northamptonshire, and was diagnosed
with Parkinson’s in 2003. When she first started playing the Wii,
she kept being beaten by her granddaughter.
But Tina, an occupational therapist by profession, was intrigued
at the Wii’s potential to improve hand eye co-ordination. After
playing for a couple of months, she could give her granddaughter a
run for her money.
What she really loves is that the games are motivating. Her 'Wii
age' - the measure that the device gives you of how well you have
mastered the virtual sports on offer - has gone down from 71 to
"Since using it, my fitness and co-ordination have definitely
"When I started I couldn't even hit a tennis ball on the Wii
Sports game, but I can now control the complex movements that
Parkinson's makes very difficult."
Pamela Goff, 59, is from Sheffield, and was diagnosed with
Parkinson's in 2009.
Pamela uses her Wii about 3 times a week. She
likes the balance games and the step game, which she says helps
"The immediate feedback you get is great; it tells you if you
are balancing properly”.
At the moment Pamela uses the Wii at home. But she's trying to
set up a Wii club in Sheffield for other people with
I definitely think it benefits my Parkinson's. It's important to keep active and motivated through exercise.
Awen Davies, 40, is from Gwynedd in Wales. She was diagnosed
with Parkinson's about 4 years ago. Awen uses the Wii
regularly with her daughters.
"In my local hospital they had Wiis and my therapist spoke about
"Using the Wii in the home with my family, I don't feel as
self-conscious as I would exercising in public. It's given me a new
lease of energy
"I definitely think it benefits my Parkinson's. It's important
to keep active and motivated through exercise.
"The way that the Wii gets you moving and thinking about
co-ordination - it’s a real benefit."
Barry Armston, 43, from Coalville, Leicestershire, was diagnosed
with Parkinson's 4 years ago.
"The balance board really improves balance and posture.
"I work as a building construction manager. It’s very high-pace
and days are often very stressful. When I was first diagnosed, I
used come home from work and fall to sleep almost immediately.
"Now I come straight home and go straight on the Wii instead of
sleeping. It gives me a second wind and concentrates my mind.
"My reactions and basic co-ordination are noticeably quicker
Rose, 47, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's aged 39, is a member
of our Bristol Branch. She features in a
television advertisement for the Nintendo Wii, which will will run
to the end of December 2010.
Karen is involved because she uses the Wii as part of her
exercise routine and feels it helps with her Parkinson's symptoms.
Image right: Karen using the Wii at home
Watch the advertisement (1 minute)
Watch an extended clip of Karen Rose filmed for Nintendo (1
minute 4 seconds)
Also in this section
More about Parkinson's and the Wii