Acute Effect of Virtual Reality Exercise Bike Games on College Students' Physiological and Psychological Outcomes

Nan Zeng, Zachary Pope, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Commercially available virtual reality (VR) exercise systems are extensively used in many health domains among clinical populations. However, evidence regarding the efficacy of this technology on healthy adults' health-related outcomes is unknown. This pilot study compared physiological and psychological responses following exercise on a VR-based exercise bike (VirZoom) and traditional stationary exercise bike. Twelve healthy college students (9 females; Mage = 25.01, SD = ± 4.74; MBMI = 22.84, SD = ± 3.68) completed two separate 20-minute exercise sessions on the VR-based exercise bike and traditional stationary exercise bike. Blood pressure (BP), ratings of perceived exertion, self-efficacy, and enjoyment were assessed as primary outcomes. Dependent t-tests indicated no significant differences in mean systolic or diastolic BP changes from pre to postexercise between the VR-based exercise and traditional stationary biking sessions (all p > 0.05). Notably, participants reported significantly higher ratings of perceived exertion (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = 0.68) during the traditional exercise biking session compared with VR-based exercise biking session. However, participants had significantly higher self-efficacy (p < 0.05, Cohen's d =-0.83) and enjoyment (p < 0.05, Cohen's d =-0.89) during the VR-based exercise biking session compared with traditional stationary biking. The commercially available VR-based exercise bike (VirZoom) may be considered an effective, enjoyable, and motivating physical activity tool. Further interventions with larger and more diverse samples and examinations of more health-related outcomes are warranted to determine optimal application of VR-based exercise programming among various populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-457
Number of pages5
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • enjoyment
  • perceived exertion
  • self-efficacy
  • virtual reality

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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