Expert reveals five surprising ways VR headsets can improve health 

Expert reveals five surprising ways VR headsets can improve health 

While VR headsets like the new Apple Vision Pro bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘glued to the screen’, these devices can in fact play a role in improving your health and well-being. Online gaming information site Indivisible Game has revealed five surprising ways that VR headsets can bring physical and mental benefits to players.   

Using VR immersion for chronic pain relief   

While gaming of any capacity can immerse the player in various captivating worlds, VR gaming can provide gamers with the most immersive experience possible. A report from the Virtual Reality Medical Institute found that these virtual environments crafted in games and entertainment experiences can help relieve chronic pain, drawing attention away from your brain and reducing the amount of conscious pain you experience. VR has been adopted by many hospitals to help ease the pain of patients who have recently undergone surgery, given birth or been through cancer treatment.    

Burn up to 13 calories per minute with VR gaming   

Virtual Reality has ushered in a new way of gaming that allows players to be more physically active when playing some of their favourite titles. Rather than sitting on the sofa for a gaming session, VR headsets encourage gamers to be active, using their body and motion controls to explore various virtual locations. Data from the VR Health Institute revealed players can burn up to 13 calories per minute playing VR games, depending on your weight and the extent of movement.   

VR alleviates social isolation and improves anxiety   

While spending too much time wearing a VR headset can certainly result in headaches, eye strain and even motion sickness, VR gaming can provide a plethora of mental health benefits to gamers. The immersive nature of these devices can even reduce levels of depression and social isolation. A scientific report conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic found that Virtual Reality experiences were effective in reducing ’lockdown loneliness’ and supporting people who struggle with social isolation, depression, and social anxiety.    

Tackle your phobias with VR   

Medical professionals have successfully adopted VR technology as a tool to help tackle and reduce phobias. Patients can be exposed to some of their greatest fears (spiders, crowded spaces, heights, etc.) in a safe, controlled environment. While this immersive exposure therapy is authentic enough to work as a treatment, the awareness that this is a virtual space allows participants to feel comfortable taking on their fears. The scope of VR means a wide variety of phobias can be gradually introduced to patients, providing them with coping mechanisms to tackle their phobias in real life.    

An excellent tool for mastering motor skills and cognitive abilities   

Popular VR games like Beat Saber not only serve as a form of physical exercise, they can also provide excellent mental stimulation for adults and children alike. Benefits include improved focus, enhanced cognitive abilities, and better memory. Games like these encourage players to problem-solve, memorise patterns, and stay attentive, keeping your mind more alert and active.    

A spokesperson from  Indivisible Game said: “When enjoyed in moderation, VR headsets and gaming experiences provide various physical and mental benefits to players all over the globe. It is recommended to spend no more than 15 minutes at a time using a VR headset, ensuring you set boundaries to limit play and enjoy real-life experiences.    

“While VR headsets do pose various risks like injuries from your surroundings, motion sickness, and eye strain, this technology has also proved useful in recreational, educational and medical settings.”   

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