The Physiological and Perceptual Responses to Cycling Exercise in a Fully Immersive Virtual Environment
AdvisorsHighton, Jamie M.
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AbstractAn innovative piece of digital technology which has recently come to the attention of sports scientists as a potential ergogenic aid is the use of immersive virtual reality (VR) technology. Whilst the effects of VR on performance have begun to be explored, the physiological and perceptual responses to exercise when combined with VR remain relatively unknown. Accordingly, this study investigated both the physiological and perceptual responses to exercise in a fully immersive virtual environment viewed through a stereoscopic head-mounted display. Thirteen recreationally active males (n=12) and females (n=1) (age = 24.9 ± 4.6 y; body mass = 78.7 ± 6.3 kg; stature = 178.6 ± 3.7 cm; VO2max = 55.1 ± 7.1 ml·kg-1·min-1) completed a time to exhaustion (TTE) test under control (CON) and virtual reality (VR) conditions in a repeated measures randomized crossover design. Effect sizes (ES) and magnitude-based inferences were calculated for all variables between conditions using a predesigned spreadsheet (Batterham & Cox, 2006). TTE (ES = 0.78; ±0.37), enjoyment (ES = 0.85; ±0.49) and positive affect (PA) (ES = 0.78; ±0.65) were all greater in the VR compared to CON condition. HR and RPE, analyzed over a 6 minute isotime, were lower at minute two only (ES = 0.33; ±0.38) and (ES = 0.88; ±0.52) respectively, in the VR compared to CON condition. There were no changes in VO2 peak, b[La] and negative affect (NA) between conditions. The use of a fully immersive VR headset in combination with a traditional cycling task was shown to elicit improvements in TTE performance and increase affective responses and enjoyment of the exercise, likely due to a dissociative effect. These findings support the use of fully immersive VR in the exercise domain as an ergogenic aid.
CitationNowlan, G. (2016). The physiological and perceptual responses to cycling exercise in a fully immersive virtual environment (Master's thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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