How VR Is Impacting The Fitness Worldnatasha@syntech.co.za
How VR Is Impacting The Fitness World
By Zach Kyle
The virtual reality fitness wave is coming.
Dozens of fitness games are already available in online game markets and app stores, each striving to make getting off of your couch and working up a sweat more fun than a jog or the gym. More fun means more workouts, which means fewer broken New Year’s resolutions and fewer inches on waistlines. What’s not to like?
That may sound too good to be true, but research says VR can play those kinds of healthy mind tricks. That’s why serious medical researchers are turning to VR for a litany of therapeutic uses, including treating Post Traumatic Stress, maintaining mental acuity for seniors and managing pain for burn victims. Reading that analysis was exactly why the founders of Black Box VR went all in on developing what would be the first VR fitness game built around resistance training rather than aerobics.
“We all know that athletes have this magic that they can push through the pain, the adversity, to make it to the next level,” Black Box VR cofounder Preston Lewis says. “They have this mental grit. When you work out in VR, 80 percent of your brain is dedicated to visual pathways. If the stimulus is strong enough, it’s easier to override that sense of pain.”
The active nature of virtual reality means that any VR game — not just fitness games — offer some exercise value. San Francisco State University’s Kinesiology Department launched the VR Health Institute, which is developing methods to test and rate games based on how many calories players burn in a session.