Scientists develop game to support rehab from cruciate injuries

01 December 2023 09:34

Zurich CCGreater ZurichSt.GallenBodensee

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Winterthur/Zurich/Au - Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) have developed the movement game ExerUp for rehab exercises to support recovery from cruciate knee ligament injuries. The FitTech start-up Sphery acted as practice partner for this project.

The new movement-based game ExerUp supports athletes recovering from cruciate knee ligament injuries in their physiotherapy and rehab. The game was developed by biomechanical scientists from the School of Health Sciences at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur together with games designers from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

The FitTech start-up Sphery acted as practice partner for this project. Based in Au in the canton of St.Gallen, the spin-off from ZHdK specializes in game-based, personalized and multimedia training concepts and technologies that can be combined with hardware and software designs. In 2019, the ExerCube developed by Sphery, which was used for this project, went into series production. The ExerCube features three walls of a cube measuring 3 x 3 meters that surround the player. These serve as projection screens to display the game world.

In the ExerCube, athletes solve physical and mental tasks by carrying out typical rehab exercises. Movement trackers on the body ensure that the athletes are carrying out the activities correctly. “The game is not intended to replace rehab, but rather to specifically supplement it before the athletes make their return to sport”, as Prof. Dr. Eveline Graf, Head of the Movement Laboratory at ZHAW, comments in a press release.  

“In principle, the new Exergame can be used by elite athletes to support their rehab as well as by amateurs, who can benefit either preventatively or after suffering an injury”, explains Dr. Anna Lisa Martin-Niedecken, founder and CEO of Sphery, who also heads up the Institute for Design Research at ZHdK. She adds: “It can also be used for fitness training in addition to the other ExerCube games”. ce/mm

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