Is Virtual Reality an Effective Method of Recreation?
The majority of people usually have a negative perspective on new technological discoveries, especially if their main purpose is entertainment. For example, Virtual Reality is a technology that is often frowned upon as it is believed to ‘exclude’ people from the ‘real’ world.
However, VR can also help us a lot, especially when it comes to recreation and rehabilitation. In fact, this technology can improve our mental and physical health in some cases.
Treating Patients Who Are in Pain
VR is a useful tool for patients who are experiencing physical pain in their body. Scientists and researchers at the University of Washington found out that patients who are provided with a vivid virtual reality experience while being in pain are able to lower its level. Soothing images would usually help them forget about being in pain for some time, in addition to relieving anxiety related to pain.
Treating Anxiety and Phobias
We often engage in various recreational activities in order to stay mentally healthy. In fact, recreational activities can help us a lot by easing various types of phobias and anxiety. However, some types of phobias and anxiety disorders simply cannot go away by mere recreation. Therefore, we need to include an additional type of therapy to help us, and one of the treatments that has still being explored is VR.
If we have a specific phobia, VR can provide treatment by gradually exposing us to it. For example, if you are afraid of spiders, you can use VR to simulate small spiders crossing your path in the distance, and slowly accustom yourself to them being in your presence.
VR Can Help Us Stay in Shape
One of the most important things about VR is that people can actually remain physically active while using VR devices. For example, some cutting-edge gyms offer VR glasses next to treadmills. Therefore, instead of looking at the same old thing while we run, we are able to choose a different reality. Imagine running on a treadmill but feeling as if you are in space, running towards starts.
Moreover, similar specialized equipment is available for people who like cycling. This is even more entertaining as there are much more options for VR settings. For example, you can set the environment to be the bottom of an ocean, making you feel like you are in a submarine exploring flora and fauna of the deep blue. Moreover, you can set your environment to a downhill bike race and raise your adrenaline levels by cycling in extreme conditions.
As you can see, VR can help us with both treating some of our existing medical conditions and staying healthy. It is a revolutionary technology which, if used properly, could really have a positive effect on the world and people. However, it is up to us to use VR as constructively as possible and not remain seated for hours getting lost in virtual reality that could make us completely forget about ours.