Many of you might have wondered if longer sessions with a VR headset could influence our health. Researchers say yes. There are both good and bad VR health effects, and we will now explore both in detail.
A) Bad VR health effects
Try playing a rollercoaster simulation, you will see things in it, hear them but you will not feel your body changing position, logically. One of the human senses lets you know whether you are standing still or rushing at 60mph upside down in a rollercoaster cart. Therefore, your senses are confused and that could possibly lead to nausea and disorientation that could last for a few hours or in some cases even days after the session, depending on its length. Do not fear though! These effects usually aren’t severe and as you use VR more often, the body will get used to it, making it easier to switch between reality and Virtual Reality.
As for the eyesight, VR headsets aren’t really dangerous. Actually, they are much better than personal computers! When looking at a computer screen, your eyes are focused directly at it (between 20 and 40 inches / 50-100 cm) and that is a very small distance. A VR headset on the other hand makes you focus into the distance, which is healthier. Our eyes are made to focus on distant objects, therefore the VR is healthier for your eyesight than computer screens.
Lastly, there are addiction concerns.
B) Good health effects of virtual reality
On the other hand, VR can be used to cure PTSD (Postr-traumatic stress disorder) and many other mental problems. Virtual Reality Treatment is currently being used by the military to help soldiers with PTSD from war and it has achieved positive results so far. Virtual reality treatment is also starting to be used in therapies for people with anxiety, phobias, depression, autism and other mental illnesses by simulating problematic situations.
For example, there is a simulation for people with acrophobia (fear of heights) that puts the user on top of very large buildings with an option to leave the simulation at any time. That’s it! Simple, yet efficient. After longer periods of time the user will become less afraid in the simulation and later on even in the real world!
In the end, there aren’t really any Virtual Reality Health Effects that we should fear. Actually it could be really useful! Many more uses for Virtual Reality other than helping with mental or physical issues are being developed right now, you can check the news for more info.