Book on Physical Activity and Active Aging integrates strategies for using serious games

Marlene Rosa, researcher in the area of neurosciences at ciTechCare and founder of the project agilities, is co-author of the book ‘Physical Activity, Exercise, and Aging’, together with Raúl Antunes, Raquel Sousa and Rui Matos.

This book was written by several professionals from the Sports Science field, but also researchers, professors or physicians in the scope of active and healthy ageing, and intends to be a useful resource to professionals in the field of Sports Sciences, as well as to Animators, Gerontologists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Sociologists and other professionals who deal daily with this population

“It is, therefore, increasingly important to use different strategies to promote and encourage the regular practice of physical activity by the elderly. The Senior Boccia is one of these activities/modalities, which seeks to contribute to the aging process to be more active and participatory. This modality consists of throwing balls (six blue, six red and one white), in which the objective is to put the balls of the color corresponding to the player/team house as close as they can to the target ball, the white one. [… ] the evidence in the literature highlights to the importance of this practice as a strategy to combat social isolation and promote physical and psychological well-being”, can be read in the first pages of the chapter.

The chapter entitled ‘Gamification’ brings a concept that refers to a set of “playful experiences that aim to motivate individuals.

According to the authors “traditional games as a strategy to promote a more active and participatory aging process, promote motor coordination, laterality and the development of rhythmic sense”.

The work is organised in four parts: Aging Process, Physical Exercise and Health, Proposals for Activities and Intervention Projects in the Community.

Throughout the chapter, it is possible to access several intervention proposals, which means, traditional Portuguese games applicable to the daily life of this population.

‘Importance and benefits of physical exercise’, ‘Postural re-education and clinical Pilates’ or ‘Effect of detraining’ are some of the chapters that embody the latest work coordinated by Francisco Campos and Elisa Ângelo.

This work was funded by Portuguese national funds provided by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P. FCT/UI/05704/2020