Virtual Reality (VR) is still a relatively fresh concept for the common public to digest, especially with the improvement of VR/AR skyrocketing. In latter times, VR has redefined and confronted its original purpose upon existing stigmas.
Since the introduction of virtual reality to the consumer, critics have questioned the proper purpose for virtual reality. Well, the answer is… there is no clear-cut answer. The possibilities are brewing and the tech-world is steadily shaping the versatile usage of VR gaming. Tech companies such as Facebook, Nintendo, and Samsung have all invested thousands of private money to explore and create a unique and limitless virtual universe. New VR developments push the pre-conditioned virtual boundaries even further, as manufacturers come closer to near-perfect products for the benefit of the future and the market. Or as Modern English best said it — it’s getting better, all the time. However, aside from catchy 80s synth pop, today both the public and academia find interest in the digital realness of these virtual activities, agreeing on the actual benefits of virtual reality as a true form of exercise.
It is widely known that since the early 2000s, video games have maintained an unbelievable forward progression in digital gameplay; and as technological innovations advance in the realm of gaming, it has also influenced conventional exercise. Within a few years, tech-creators transformed gaming experiences to the next level by establishing a direct nexus between virtual reality and physical activeness.
Now, what if we told you that according to institutional studies, virtual reality deeply links to substantial health benefits? According to the Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise, statistics show that since 2016, virtual reality games such as Audioshield have helped burn at least 160 million calories. Oddly enough, this equals to running to the moon and back more than five times! Universities have quickly jumped to learn more about this concept, and as the evidence and research compiles, institutions such like San Francisco State University apply VR to wellness centers and exercise programs to track the virtual health benefits that translate to the real world.
In 2018, San Francisco State University’s Kinesiology Department kick-started a fitness program for students and staff, incorporating virtual reality applications to monitor heart rate levels, intake of oxygen, and other health indicators. The purpose of this research campaign is to gather data and statistics, find context within the research, and further elaborate on the exact benefits of virtual reality. Pretty nifty, right?
San Francisco State University is a prime example of forward-thinking amongst other universities that manage a VR fitness program. Consistent fitness programs such as Jake Phillips’ 90-Day Fitness Challenge on the Kat Walk Treadmill System exemplifies the possibility of a routine workout based around virtual reality video-gaming. Which in return questions and redefines conventional exercise as we know it. No longer does one need to visit the local gym to burn some calories after a visit to the ice cream shop. Video games stimulate the mind, but as of recent trends, we are learning that it can also provide a healthy regimen for daily exercise.
Photo Courtesy of San Francisco State University
Tune in for Questionnaire with VR Expert Jake Phillips coming soon.