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Service learning and community based research projects are a natural fit for students and faculty in the UD College of Health Sciences (CHS), where a commitment to bettering the lives of people in the community is embedded in the disciplines. With areas of focus covering the entire lifespan, from mobility devices for infants with disabilities to health and fitness for older adults, CHS offers a wealth of opportunities for students to engage with community organizations while contributing to the development of new knowledge about health promotion and disease prevention.

Type of Project: Community Based Research

Title of Project: Getting Older Adults to Use Wii Fit Plus

Community Partner: Claymore Center and Howard Weston Senior Center

Description of Project: Health behavior science majors are assisting Prof. Beth Orsega-Smith in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition as she explores the use of the Nintendo Wii gaming system to promote not only physical fitness but also mental health in seniors. Over the past two summers, the students have implemented two different Wii programs-one using Wii sports games and the other using Wii balance games-at local senior centers. They tracked caloric expenditure in the first program and functional balance in the second, with the data providing preliminary evidence of the value of "exergames" in promoting fitness among the elderly.

Time Span: Ongoing since June 2009.