Virtual reality allows seniors to relax, travel, and learn from the comfort of their chair. But did you know it can also be used as a valuable tool to improve the exercise for seniors?
Physical activity is often difficult for seniors because of chronic pain, physical and medical limitations, or simply the lack of motivation that frequently accompanies aging. Virtual reality creates a stimulating environment for seniors, providing them with engaging and interactive experiences that increase overall happiness and make exercise a more enjoyable, comfortable, and effective experience.
VR is an innovative solution to the monotony of daily exercise for seniors. Instead of staring at a blank wall while working out on a stationary bike or doing physical therapy, seniors can bike through Copenhagen or lift weights in the Italian countryside. The visual stimulation of VR increases enjoyment and mood among seniors and furthermore, boosts their desire to exercise in the future. According to a study conducted by the British Journal of Health Psychology, the addition of virtual reality accompanied by music to exercise on a stationary bike, increased overall enjoyment level of the 24 volunteers sampled by 26.4% in comparison with a control situation with no VR or music.
Furthermore, when paired with exercise, VR can reduce perceived fatigue, discomfort, and pain, due to a decreased level of bodily consciousness. This is especially beneficial for seniors who experience frequent physical pain or discomfort, which can be exacerbated by exercise. Better endurance and reduced heart rate are added benefits which make exercise more effective when performed in tandem with a VR experience.
Check out the following articles for interesting studies and more information!
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