Design and evaluation of an interactive music system for exercise and physical activity with Alzheimer’s patients

Rune B. Rosseland


Elderly people are encouraged to exercise regularly to maintain good health and avoid or slow down the progression of age-related health challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Despite this, many seniors struggle to find the motivation to adhere to exercise programmes over time. In this qualitative, research-through-design study an interactive music system was tested with AD patients. The purpose was to explore how dynamically adapting musical beat and rhythm can be used to stimulate and motivate physical activity. The system changes the tempo of a piece of music to match the pace of repetitive bodily movements. Findings show that most participants were able to entrain and synchronise to each other’s movements through use of the system. Several participants also commented that they enjoyed the experience. Finally, the addition of an interface with nature photos and visual performance and progress indicators suggested possible ways for the system to be redesigned to suit the needs and desires of the participants.

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ISSN: 1904-500X

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