Sport is health. However, for many of us it is also a real chore. Many people do not enjoy exercise, and even find it uncomfortable. Luckily, whether you are a real lazy or a professional athlete, it turns out that VR can make exercise less strenuous.
In order to determine the impact of VR on physical performance, Maria Matsangidou from EDA and her team of researchers carried out a scientific experiment. A total of 80 individuals were split into two groups.
The first group was placed in a room with a table, chair and yoga mat. The second group was placed in the same room, but the participants were provided with VR headsets.
In both cases, each individual was required to perform an isometric bicep curl lifting 20% of the maximum weight they could carry. They were then asked to hold out as long as possible. Within virtual reality, individuals wearing headsets saw the environment of the room as well as a virtual representation of their arm and the weight to be lifted.
During the experiment, researchers measured several criteria : heart rate, intensity of pain, feeling of exhaustion, or personal awareness of the body.
Curiously, the result is final. The results of the experiment clearly show that pain perception is reduced when using VR. This finding is consistent with research carried out in the health sector, where VR is now used to entertain patients during an operation. In total, after one minute, the level of pain perceived by the VR group was less than 10%.
In addition, the participants of the VR group have felt exhaustion on average two minutes later than the others. Their heart rate was also slower at three beats per minute.
The results of this experiment suggest that it is possible to use virtual reality to encourage less active people to exercise more. This technology could also allow top athletes to train for longer. A very encouraging study for the nascent VR fitness industry.