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Tackling phobias to anxiety: Experts reveal 5 health benefits of VR headsets

New Delhi, March 2, 2024
Virtual reality (VR) headsets such as the Apple Vision Pro bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘glued to the screen’, but these devices can also play a role in improving health and well-being, experts said.

Online gaming information site Indivisible Game has revealed five ways that VR headsets can bring physical and mental benefits to players.

“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,” an Indivisible Game spokesperson said.

Tackle 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 phobias such as spiders, crowded spaces, heights, etc. in a safe, controlled environment.

The scope of VR allows for the gradual introduction of a wide range of phobias to patients, equipping them with coping methods to deal with their phobias in real life, according to experts.

Using VR for chronic pain relief: 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, a report from the Virtual Reality Medical Institute found.

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: VR headsets encourage gamers to be active, using their body and motion controls to explore various virtual locations rather than sitting on the sofa for a gaming session.

Data from the VR Health Institute revealed players can burn up to 13 calories per minute playing VR games, depending on their weight and the extent of movement.

VR headsets for mastering motor skills and cognitive abilities: As per experts, popular VR games like ‘Beat Saber’ not only serve as a form of physical exercise, but 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 their minds more alert and active, the experts explained.

VR eases social isolation and improves anxiety: The immersive nature of VR devices can help reduce levels of depression and social isolation.

A scientific report conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic found that VR experiences were effective in reducing ’lockdown loneliness’ and supporting people who struggle with social isolation, depression, and social anxiety, the experts mentioned.(Agency)

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