Might virtual reality promote the mood benefits of exercise?

Document Type


Publication Date





This study sought to investigate if virtual reality technology enhances the psychological benefits of aerobic exercise in a laboratory setting. In this study, 88 university faculty and staff (44 females, 44 males) were randomly assigned to one of three 30-min conditions including: (1) bicycling at a moderate intensity (60–70% maximum heart rate) on a stationary bicycle, (2) playing a virtual reality computer bicycle game, or (3) an interactive virtual reality bicycle experience on a computer while exercising on a stationary bike at moderate intensity (60–70% maximum heart rate). The Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (AD-ACL) was administered immediately before and after the laboratory session. Results suggest that virtual reality enhances some of the mood benefits when paired with exercise. Virtual reality when paired with exercise enhances enjoyment, energy, and reduces tiredness. Virtual reality without exercise was discovered to increase participants' tension, tiredness, and lower their energy level. Results suggest that the combination of virtual reality and exercise might improve some of the beneficial psychological effects of exercise compared with virtual reality or exercise alone.