Stuck in traffic after a long day of work? No motivation to go to the gym? Well, do not lose hope. Virtual reality gyms are popping up, as well as stations in gyms, and virtual reality exercise games so that you can work out in the comfort of your own home. The world’s first virtual reality gym, Black Box, has opened up in San Francisco in April 2019. Studies suggest that using virtual reality as a means of exercise will not only enhance your performance, but also provide less strain on your heart. Virtual reality gaming software is underway for people to use in their homes. It may take some time to get used to, but in the end, the benefits would be worth it.
Study participants used a virtual reality headset that stimulated their environment. To compare, the study had a
control group who did the trial lifting as well. They all would lift weights, for example in a curl position and hold it as long as they could. The participants were assessed by their performance based on different trials. At the end of the study, the results showed that the virtual reality participants had a lower heart rate, lowered pain intensity, and lower levels of exertion than the control group.
“The use of VR technology offers the individual the ability to exercise for a longer period of time without burdening the heart,” lead study author Maria Matsangidou, Ph.D., said in a press release.
May Cause Nausea
When you first start using virtual reality, it can throw you off balance. There are games where people have to stop halfway through due to feeling nauseated. This happens because a game may not be equivalent to your reality. For example, if you take a step in a game and you actually end up going further than you normally would in reality, it may unbalance you. It messes with a person’s depth of perception. However, once you become more familiar with virtual reality, it will wear off as you acclimate.
When you have the headset on and you begin a workout game, it becomes just that, a game. In order to foster a good workout, games were created to mimic an aerobics class. In the game “Audioshield,” you have to use the correct hand
to match the color of orbs that are coming towards the player. The orbs are high and low so you have to reach and bend. Another game tested is called “Thrill of the Fight,” which is a virtual boxing match. Players experience sounds and swings, while they throw punches at their opponent. The point of these games is to have fun and distract you from the fact that you are working out.
Virtual reality is becoming a thing of the future, and soon many gyms will add stations all over the country. Game designers will be creating more games so that people can get a great workout in their home. All it takes is about 6 square feet in order to set up a virtual reality station. The prices vary from $400-$800.
Not many adults get the doctor recommended exercise a week that consists of 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Only 30% of adults are meeting this quota. These virtual reality stations/games will benefit more than just the average gym goer. It will help people with heart issues by strengthening their heart without putting them at risk for complications. Virtual reality will hopefully get more people excited about working out, and offer more gain without the pain.