Research Finds VR Burns More Calories Than Sex

Five minutes of Audio Trip offers twice the cardio than a night of passion.

Is there anything better than sex? According to newly released data from the Virtual Reality Institute of Health & Exercise, the answer is a definite yes, yes, YES! At least when it comes to burning up calories. Researchers found that people who played one of this year’s most highly anticipated soon-to-be-released VR games, Audio Trip, burned 3.47x more calories than sex. That’s twice the calories!

In case you’re not in the know, Audio Trip — developed by Kinemotik Studios, is a VR game that looks similar to games such as Beat Saber or BoxVR, but features very different gameplay. Whereas Beat Saber focuses on large arms swings and BoxVR is more fitness-focused, Audio Trip has you moving your upper and lower body in a way that resembles free-form dance, or an intense Zumba class.  

That’s because the game was choreographed by Ashley Cooper, a former professional dancer and founder of Kinemotik.

In an official press release, Aaron Stanton, Director of the VR Health Institute said, “For 20 years, healthcare professionals have been telling the fitness community that video games are the enemy of being physically healthy,” adding, “That is no longer true. We have new tools with VR and AR that are inherently built around physical movement.” 

This is especially true with Audio Trip. By design, you are getting the same full-body movement and cardiovascular exercise experience during gameplay that you would from actually dancing. That’s because while you’re playing a game in VR, you are actually dancing in reality.

Collecting data wasn’t as fun as you would think. Researchers didn’t go on a crazy Audio Trip sex-filled romp. Instead, researchers had subjects play Audio Trip for thirty-minute sessions while wearing metabolic equipment to measure the rate of oxygen conversion on a breath-by-breath basis in order to calculate actual calorie consumption during gameplay. Basically the farthest thing from sexy as you could imagine.

Each player’s metabolic equivalent of task (MET) score was calculated, a unit for measuring the rate the body expends energy independent of weight. On average, Audio Trip had a metabolic rating of 6.94 METs, which happens to be twice the energy burned in a steamy moment of romance. 

Image Credit: VR Institute of Health & Exercise

Dr. Marialice Kern, chair of the Department of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University, who works with the VR Health Institute, concluded that playing Audio Trip offers a substantial amount of exercise for the person in the game. She also observed that players tend to be unaware of how much energy they’re actually burning while playing a highly active VR game.

In an interview with VRScout, Shuang van Reizen aka SwanVR, dancer in the very popular LIV Beat Saber video and current Creative Director of Marketing for Andromeda Entertainment, talked about the importance of this research saying, “VR is a great physical workout that isn’t limited to a smelly gym or trying to try your luck on Tinder,” adding, “VR gaming where you become the avatar causes gamers to move more and feel great while having fun in the comfort of their own home. This makes you the superhero in the game.”

Speaking of moving more, Audio Trip is filled with awesome tracks that really get your body moving. Lady GaGa’s Just Dance happens to be SwanVR’s favorite tracks to play along with, but there are a lot more to choose from. You can hop into a quick game that runs about 2 minutes or settle in for an intense 5-minute cardio blast. 

Audio Trip is an amazing hyperactive VR experience that has you using your hands to follow and touch a path of virtual markers that are coming towards you, all while the virtual environment is pulsating to an awesome soundtrack of your choice. You’re swinging your arms the same way you would in Beat Saber, but instead of slashing cubes, you’re hitting drum-like objects that are mixed into the markers. You’ll also need to move side-to-side and squat at certain points, all while making sure your hands hit those markers and drums.

Image Credit: Kinemotik Studios

On top of that, there are also light paths that you need to keep your hands in that will flow up and down and even swirl in multiple directions. This is what gives you that feeling of dancing Meanwhile, your legs are getting an awesome workout from squatting and shuffling back and forth in order to keep your hands on-target.

So next time you’re feeling a bit frisky for some calorie-burning action, why take it to the bedroom when you could double your workout with Audio Trip.

Audio Trip will be available in late October for all PC VR headsets and was developed by Kinemotik Studios and published by Andromeda Entertainment.

Feature Image Credit: Kinemotik Studios

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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