VR Is Now Recognised As Exercise: Australian Scientists

If you needed another reason to splurge out those big bucks for a big Virtual Reality (VR) purchase, now you have an excuse to do so!

According to Australian scientists who have conducted extensive studies on participants, they have found that VR games are just as rewarding as regular exercise regiments. While this doesn’t mean you put on your Head Mounted Display (HMD) and lose yourself in the world of Job Simulator, the scientists state that certain games are the most beneficial for your physical exercise.

While this is nothing relatively new, and we have been witness to this through the Nintendo Wii (Wii Sports in Particular), and the Xbox Kinect’s more physical games such as the ever so popular Just Dance series. While motion controllers were previously considered to be the adequate of a work-out because of how much physical energy is demanded to enjoy these games, Virtual Reality has joined that prestigious rank.

The scientists did a comparative study where the participants heart-rates were used as a measure, before and after the VR games were carried out, and compared against the next best exercise when it came to the results.

Classified as exergames, the study took into consideration a set of 4 games in Virtual Reality and compared them to how they fared when compared to regular exercise regiments:

Portal Stories was the lowest heart rate score, and it was equated with very light exercise.

Fruit Ninja was compared to light-exercise, and can be classified under the same regiment as walking, since the heart scores gave it the equivalence to the mentioned exercise.

Hot Squats heart-rate scored was put on the same level as heavy exercise, which equated to running.

Holopoint’s heart-rate score matched to moderate intensity, which was said to be equal to a dancing routine.

The participants reported back that they felt a real difference from the VR as they would have felt if they actually carried out the equivalent exercise.

While these are some soft games to help with exercise, there are plenty of games to give you plenty of exercise, even mentally exercise your visual senses. Games like Robo Recall and SuperHot VR rely on you looking at your surroundings carefully and making precise movements to overcome the stages.

University of Syndey