Virtual Reality Changing the Way People Exercise

Abdallah Fadel serves as director and general manager of new business ventures and technology solutions for Herman Miller in Holland, Michigan, where he draws upon a particular interest in audiovisual technology and virtual reality. Outside of his professional life, Abdallah Fadel stays fit through exercise activities such as running.

From the classroom to the workplace, the explosion of virtual reality technology over the past few years has provided new possibilities for almost every industry. Now, technology analysts and clinical researchers are predicting that virtual reality will fundamentally change the way we exercise as well.

According to recent research at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, virtual reality helps raise the pain threshold for individuals working out while wearing virtual reality headsets. In the study, a group of 80 subjects were directed to perform isometric biceps curl exercises, with half of the group wearing a virtual reality headset that showed a virtual representation of themselves holding the weight and the other half wearing no headset at all.

Overall, those who wore the headsets reported a lower perception of pain as well as improved endurance. The study builds upon previous research indicating that wearing virtual reality headsets may reduce the pain associated with medical shots and surgical procedures, and experts state that the findings will have implications for the future of exercise and fitness.