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Rest Intervals during Virtual Reality Gaming Augments Standing Postural Sway Disturbance

1
School of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD 4556, Australia
2
Cognitive Aging and Impairment Neurosciences, Justice and Society, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Patricia Sánchez González and Ignacio Oropesa
Sensors 2021, 21(20), 6817; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21206817
Received: 7 July 2021 / Revised: 15 September 2021 / Accepted: 27 September 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
Immersive virtual reality (VR) can cause acute sickness, visual disturbance, and balance impairment. Some manufacturers recommend intermittent breaks to overcome these issues; however, limited evidence examining whether this is beneficial exists. The aim of this study was to examine whether taking breaks during VR gaming reduced its effect on postural sway during standing balance assessments. Twenty-five people participated in this crossover design study, performing 50 min of VR gaming either continuously or with intermittent 10 min exposure/rest intervals. Standing eyes open, two-legged balance assessments were performed immediately pre-, immediately post- and 40 min post-exposure. The primary outcome measure was total path length; secondary measures included independent axis path velocity, amplitude, standard deviation, discrete and continuous wavelet transform-derived variables, and detrended fluctuation analysis. Total path length was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced immediately post-VR gaming exposure in the intermittent rest break group both in comparison to within-condition baseline values and between-condition timepoint results. Conversely, it remained consistent across timepoints in the continuous exposure group. These changes consisted of a more clustered movement speed pattern about a lower central frequency, evidenced by signal frequency content. These findings indicate that caution is required before recommending rest breaks during VR exposure until we know more about how balance and falls risk are affected. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; head-mounted display; balance; postural sway; cybersickness; gaming virtual reality; head-mounted display; balance; postural sway; cybersickness; gaming
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MDPI and ACS Style

Clark, R.A.; Szpak, A.; Michalski, S.C.; Loetscher, T. Rest Intervals during Virtual Reality Gaming Augments Standing Postural Sway Disturbance. Sensors 2021, 21, 6817. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21206817

AMA Style

Clark RA, Szpak A, Michalski SC, Loetscher T. Rest Intervals during Virtual Reality Gaming Augments Standing Postural Sway Disturbance. Sensors. 2021; 21(20):6817. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21206817

Chicago/Turabian Style

Clark, Ross A., Ancret Szpak, Stefan C. Michalski, and Tobias Loetscher. 2021. "Rest Intervals during Virtual Reality Gaming Augments Standing Postural Sway Disturbance" Sensors 21, no. 20: 6817. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21206817

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