Real change and transformation happen when we stop making excuses and start doing. Below are 7 myths that people tell themselves about VR before they’ve experienced its true value as a health and fitness solution. VR is a real tool you can use for exercise, weight loss, mental health, entertainment and much more.
1. Virtual reality gear is too expensive…
People who are new to tech, VR and video games say that virtual reality headsets and their gear cost too much. Times are tight but you can still get a high-end head-mounted display (HMD) for a decent price. Please note that buying a Vive or Oculus VR HMD also requires you to have a PC that can power it. Oculus and Vive both have computer compatibility checks you can download.
Future VR owners with more padding in their pockets should go for the HTC Vive ($599) AKA the Ferrari of headsets. While gamers who are looking for a budget-friendly and high-quality headset should spring for the Oculus Rift ($399). Gamers that want something in the middle of the Vive and Oculus should go for the Sony PlayStation VR ($249). If you’re looking for a bargain to go along with your new smartphone, there is a good chance (double check first) that it is compatible with the Samsung Gear VR ($72.89).
Imagine how many cups of coffee you buy a month, that insane food delivery bill, or that new phone upgrade you buy every year. Which ones are more expensive long-term and which one will supply you with energy that you create yourself, plus entertainment — coffee, delivery, a yearly phone upgrade, or a spankin’ new VR setup?
2. This is a trend that will pass…
Trends come and go like the seasons, but VR is here to stay. When video game consoles first came onto the scene people said the same thing, but fast forward to the year 2018 and VR gaming is expected to reach a worth of $45.09 billion by the year 2025.
The movie, music, and gaming industry have had success in using the tech for marketing, music videos, location-based gaming experiences, fitness games, and fitness equipment. The intersection of VR with the entertainment and fitness industry will change the landscape of gaming for years to come.
3. VR is for gamers, young people, healthy people, tech nerds only…
Gamers may have an easier time making the transition from console or PC to virtual reality, but that doesn’t mean potential players who have little or zero experience with those platforms should dismiss VR gaming and it’s real life fitness benefits. VR owners turned fit gamers, Kevin Brook and Sonya Haskins both had limited gaming experience, but that didn’t stop them from trying it.
Kevin Brook, an NHS Healthy Lifestyles team member, wasn’t a fan of the Xbox console controller, but that didn’t push him away from trying out VR controllers. Rather, Kevin found that using his Oculus to play virtual reality games like Audioshield and Superhot VR were entertaining, helped him get healthier after a serious health scare, and more fit with movement. VR was so effective he’s turning up over 10,000 steps a day just by playing VR games!
Sonya Haskins, a mother, writer, and teacher had almost no experience with video games and admittedly wasn’t keen on keeping them at home. After health issues arose, her husband and son introduced her to VR, where she found that playing games like Echo Arena, Sprint Vector, and In Death helped her manage chronic pain. Without changing what she ate and drinking lots of water, playing games in VR helped her lose 40 pounds and counting! Sonya competes in Echo Arena tournaments with a team, has a YouTube channel, and does it all sitting!
4. It’ll be boring just like video games…
Boring schmoring. VR is amazing! We live in a wonderful time where we can wear something on our face, hold a controller, and fight bad guys or paint freely in mid-air, all while we’re in the comfort of our own home. If you’re bored by video games, you won’t be by VR. Virtual reality does an amazing trick where it hacks the senses (sight, sound, touch, sometimes smell) as you become immersed in visually astonishing worlds and exciting games that will make you forget the time.
5. Virtual reality is anti-social…
VR may be immersive but it’s not going to make you forget you’re human! In January 2018, players in VR Chat were having fun chatting, trolling, and dancing, only to find that one of their fellow VR Chat members collapsed to the floor with a seizure. The whole room surrounded the man and was concerned for his well-being, checking in with him and making sure he was alright once the seizure subsided. If that’s not social we don’t know what is.
Warning: This video shows a person having a seizure.
Video Credit to: Rogue Shadow VR via YouTube
6. I’ll feel nauseous…
Playing games in VR that are fast-paced, have players zipping around and flying, or on a locomotion, track might make a small handful of players feel a little queasy. Instead of throwing your hands up and dismissing VR outright, there are things you can do to prevent that feeling from occurring.
Companies like Boarding VAR have created a system that projects a horizontal plane onto the VR game or experience. This visual plane gives the body and vestibular system an anchor point that prevents motion sickness in VR. Other solutions for reducing motion sickness is the creation of the virtual nose. This fake nose is located at the center of the screen where your real one would be. This gives the body a false sense of grounding that anchors you in reality.
7. It’s gonna be too sweaty in there…
Sweat is proof that we’re alive, well, at least while getting a workout! With or without a VR headset, exercise and working hard towards weight loss or fitness goals are going to make us sweat big time. We can’t stop a natural occurrence, but what we can do something about is how we tackle the sweat when it happens.
If sweat is left undried over the course of a few sessions it might seep into the HMD, which is why it’s important to keep a towel nearby. Adding a headset cover can provide a cushion for your face, but can also be used to sop up the sweat that would otherwise head straight into the gear. Keeping your VR headset dry is important, but so is keeping it clean and hygienic. Use a soft cloth and water, or use alcohol-free wipes to keep things clean and tidy after you save the world from zombies or challenge yourself to hundreds of squats in Hot Squat.