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A study evokes the physical risks associated with the use of virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is appreciated by part of the public but is sometimes the subject of criticism. A recent study looked at the physical risks associated with its use and gave some advice on how to remedy them.

VR causes physical inconvenience

For a few years now, virtual reality has been trying to establish itself as a standard. This finds many applications in video games but also in other areas (health, work, etc.). However, this technology sometimes receives criticism regarding the inconvenience caused. Let's mention the "motion sickness", certainly the best known of these annoyances.

Researchers from Oregon State University (USA) recently conducted a study regarding other physical problems related to VR. According to a press release published on January 7, 2020, the objective of this research was to evaluate these physical risks and develop measures to overcome the troubles.

The physical risks of VR

In addition to motion sickness, virtual reality therefore causes other problems. As part of the study, the researchers asked volunteers to practice three-dimensional movements from the body. However, these same volunteers were equipped with VR helmets and sensors in order to better understand the effects. The researchers assumed that, in typical computer use, the desk and armrests of a chair usually provide support for the hands and arms. This is obviously not the case with virtual reality, although some experiences can very well be lived in a seated position. According to the results, a recurring use of this technology can cause arm pain and muscle injury in the shoulder area. In addition, the weight of the VR headset exerted on the cervical is also worrying.

According to the researchers, the objects with which the user interacts most often should be closer to the body. In addition, these same objects should ideally be at eye level rather than too high or too low. Why did the study leaders want to communicate these risks to users? The reason is very simple since this approach was motivated by the lack of standards and guidelines for VR and AR (augmented reality) interactions. It is clear that VR is often praised for the services it can provide in areas such as health . However, few studies focus on the harmful physical effects associated with its use.

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