Sensors, Vol. 21, Pages 6817: Rest Intervals during Virtual Reality Gaming Augments Standing Postural Sway Disturbance
Sensors doi: 10.3390/s21206817
Ross Allan Clark
Stefan Carlo Michalski
Immersive virtual reality (VR) can cause acute sickness, visual disturbance, and balance impairment. Some manufacturers recommend intermittent breaks to overcome these issues; however, limited evidence examining whether this is beneficial exists. The aim of this study was to examine whether taking breaks during VR gaming reduced its effect on postural sway during standing balance assessments. Twenty-five people participated in this crossover design study, performing 50 min of VR gaming either continuously or with intermittent 10 min exposure/rest intervals. Standing eyes open, two-legged balance assessments were performed immediately pre-, immediately post- and 40 min post-exposure. The primary outcome measure was total path length; secondary measures included independent axis path velocity, amplitude, standard deviation, discrete and continuous wavelet transform-derived variables, and detrended fluctuation analysis. Total path length was significantly (p &lt; 0.05) reduced immediately post-VR gaming exposure in the intermittent rest break group both in comparison to within-condition baseline values and between-condition timepoint results. Conversely, it remained consistent across timepoints in the continuous exposure group. These changes consisted of a more clustered movement speed pattern about a lower central frequency, evidenced by signal frequency content. These findings indicate that caution is required before recommending rest breaks during VR exposure until we know more about how balance and falls risk are affected.
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