June 5, 2024 | Neowin via UVic News

Ever thought about swapping your gym membership for a virtual reality (VR) headset? Well, a new study highlighted by this article from Neowin suggests you might want to consider it. The study, highlighted by Meta, found that you can meet the World Health Organization’s physical activity guidelines using a VR headset, right from your living room. The workouts with Meta’s Supernatural fitness platform were found to be as effective as traditional exercises like running, boxing, and swimming.

The study was spearheaded by Dr. Ryan Rhodes, a Professor at the School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education at the University of Victoria. Known for his expertise in the psychology of physical activity and sedentary behavior, Dr. Rhodes has been exploring innovative ways to promote physical activity and health. This study is a testament to his commitment to this cause. He led the team that examined the effectiveness of VR workouts, specifically the Flow and Boxing modes on Supernatural.

At the University of Victoria, Dr. Rhodes wears many hats. He is Director of the Behavioural Medicine Laboratory and Graduate Advisor for the School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education. His research interests are diverse and include health promotion during life transitions, application of technology to health behavior change, bridging the intention-behavior gap, the role of affect in health behavior, self-regulation of behavior, and physical activity habit and identity formation. He is a Fellow of several prestigious organizations including the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Society of Behavioral Medicine, Academy of Behavioral Medicine, and the Royal Society of Canada.

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of VR workouts on health, you can check out the full study highlighted in this article. Dr. Ryan Rhodes has several other open access articles available on UVicSpace, the University of Victoria’s institutional repository. It’s a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and health!