Immersive virtual reality exergame promotes the practice of physical activity in older people: an opportunity during COVID-19
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2480
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2414-4088/5/9/52
UNESCO SUBJECT: 3212 Salud Publica ; 5206.03 Envejecimiento de la Población ; 2411.06 Fisiología del Ejercicio
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Life expectancy has increased in recent years. Physical activity has been postulated as a key element in active aging strategies. However, adherence to physical exercise programs has traditionally been low among the elderly, and the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has added extra impediments. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) devices could motivate this population to practice exercise. This study aimed to analyse the use of IVR exergames as a tool to facilitate physical exercise in older people. Four healthy older adults (males, 65–77 years) participated in the study. They carried out two exergaming sessions with HTC Vive ProTM. Outcomes were evaluated using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ), System Usability Scale (SUS), Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ post-game module), an ad hoc satisfaction questionnaire, and perceived effort. All participants completed the sessions without adverse effects, with no SSQ symptoms reported. SUS scores were high in both sessions (SUS > 85/100). Post-game GEQ scores were 3.08–3.41/4 (positive experiences) and 0.08–0.16/4 (negative experiences). Opinions showed high levels of satisfaction with the experience. Exergaming programs, based on commercial head-mounted displays, are a feasible alternative to traditional senior exercise, and could be a solution to the current situation that has arisen from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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