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Exercise & Virtual Reality: Meet The Future!

Exercise & Virtual Reality: Meet The Future!

For a long time, the video game industry was seen as a passive activity that is totally incompatible with better physical fitness and well-being. Using video games and virtual reality to promote more physical activity is a whole new avenue in fitness and fitness. It is growing in popularity and will likely be brought to a gym or home near your home in the near future.

Virtual fitness, also known as VR Fitness, refers to the use of advanced virtual reality technology that creates a new fitness environment across the planet. These games use a circular headset that blocks any light visible from the outside and puts you at the center of a virtual world where you can play various activities and games including bowling, boxing shooting games and cognitive tests.

When you’re playing games that use VR to help with exercise, after you put on the headset and take out the wearable devices that talk to the game console, you’re ready to kick, punch and slide, cut, or sweeping through an exciting and engaging exercise that can help relieve the fatigue and boredom you feel with other traditional exercise alternatives.

When you use VR fitness equipment, the body acts as a controller; instead of sitting down and watching your avatar’s movements through the screen, as in traditional games, you perform the movements with your body that you would like to see as your virtual character transitions. That’s where fitness comes in.

Finding the fitness corner in VR

Aaron Stanton, founder and director of the San Francisco-based Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise, an independent research and assessment firm created to investigate the health impacts of virtual and Augmented Reality and create a revolutionary VR fitness . The reason he got his first idea to start VR Institute comes from a trip to England some time ago.

He saw a government health ad with a picture of a child lying on a couch with the game controller in one hand and a blank look on his face. The headline read, “Risk To Die Young And Do Nothing About It,” Stanton recalls. “And this is the mental image most people have of video games. It’s that it’s a passive life.”

However, that is not always the case, according to the study. As Stanton has now proven, certain games can burn a significant amount of calories. Games designed to get you moving can be just as intense as the most intense spin classes or group exercise to burn calories and provide overall health benefits.

Stanton discovered this in 2016 while playing a video game known as Audioshield, which allows players to block musical notes with their bodies. The software he used, which records “how often” and the amount of time you spend playing different games. showed that I had played over 110 hours of Audioshield. Seeing this made me feel a little embarrassed. However, I’ve considered it and realized it feels like I’m working out. This makes my VR unit the most efficient fitness equipment I’ve ever bought. I’ve had treadmills and an elliptical and rowing machine, but I’ve never been able to spend more than 110 hours on them.”

Can video games be an exercise?

To test his theory, Stanton founded the VR Institute and approached kinesiology researchers at San Francisco State University. Jimmy Bagley, assistant professor of Kinesiology at SFSU, was one of the researchers who began exploring the possibility of using VR for exercise.

When they first interacted, Bagley did most of his work in human physiology, with a focus on muscle performance. He worked with athletes, seniors and people with chronic disabilities to understand how muscles perform and how to get the best out of it in any situation.

At first, Bagley thought using VR for exercise was an unintended gimmick. “I decided that when your heart rate rises, you may be scared or experiencing an impulse in the sympathetic nervous system, just like watching a movie. This doesn’t mean you’re working out.”

The team decided to try it out in the lab to find out what was going on. They used VO2 max equipment to test, which is an eye mask and a tube system that athletes wear while running or cycling until they exhaust themselves to assess their physical fitness when training at an elite level – they placed participants in the VR- systems and played various games .

SFSU researchers found that real, “moderate-to-vigorous intensity” exercise occurred when players played certain types of VR-based games, Bagley says.

They were able to quantify the exact calories consumed in different games. From there, the idea was born to review and rate various VR games to ensure that people who want to use VR for better fitness and well-being can make more informed decisions about how to use their playtime to achieve their fitness goals.

Making exercise attractive

“These games weren’t designed to be fitness-oriented in the first place,” Bagley says. Still, some games, such as Beat Saber and Supernatural, have built up a reputation over time as energy guzzlers and are immensely enjoyable and stimulating.

Beat Saber is a rhythm game where you cut beats with two sabers as they fly towards you. Supernatural takes players to beautiful, Instagram-worthy places to provide the backdrop for a quick, well-coached practice where bats swing to destroy targets flying toward your body as you crouch and move side to side to stay away from obstacles , just like Beat Saber.

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