The Emotional Gym: physical exercise platform

With an aging society, a political and societal preference for older people to live longer in their own homes, and pressure on NHS finances, opportunities exist for social housing providers to explore how they can adapt their existing building stock to help deliver this, improve their tenants’ wellbeing and enjoy higher quality care at a lower cost than specialist care.

In this project, Loretto Care, in conjunction with their construction design team, the University of the West of Scotland and the Wheatley Group, wanted to research and co-design “an optimum preventative housing model for older people” by designing an emotional/interactive gym. It is vital for people to do regular exercise in order to stay active for life. More than 20 studies were reviewed in order to understand the consequence of exercise training on the physical performance in frail older people. Furthermore, older people can be motived by the latest interactive and emotional driven technologies to do this exercise and stay engaged for longer periods of time. As a result, the aim of the developed smart-exercise-bike system is to raise the number of people who participate in physical activity and sport, and to make sure they keep healthy and active.

The “Emotional Gym” project aims to provide a physical exercise platform that will attract the interest of older people and will keep them engaged and motivated. This can be achieved through the use of interactive applications, such as the “Travel the world”, and the game and performance monitoring applications that were developed. The combination of the use of the stationary exercise bike and the developed interactive applications has the potential to keep older people engaged with the exercise for more time and in a more regular base.


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