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VR Workouts Can Burn Some Serious Calories

152,000,000 calories have been burned playing Audioshield since its release in 2016.

When it comes to losing weight, we’ve already seen the impact VR fitness can have on bodies, especially when paired with a proper diet. From a personal trainer who shed 15 lbs in two months to a gamer who lost 50 pounds riding a stationary bike with a HTC Vive headset, VR workouts can not only be a source for exercise, but also be enjoyable at the same time.

While we know working out in VR can drop pounds, it’s been difficult to determine the actual caloric impact these virtual workouts actually have. Now data is starting to show that the aerobic benefits of some HTC Vive experiences may be just what we’ve been looking for to stay fit and healthy.

In collaboration with San Francisco State University’s kinesiology lab, the newly formed VR Institute of Health and Exercise is hoping to quantify these health benefits of VR games for fitness. By measuring oxygen consumption and heart rate, the team’s data shows that playing VR games come close to other strenuous exercise when calorie expenditures are measured.

The data shows that playing the boxing game Thrill of the Fight burns 15 calories a minute, the metabolic equivalent of sprinting.

Playing the archery game Holopoint burns 13 to 15 calories a minute, equivalent to swimming.

And Audioshield, where players block oncoming orbs in time to music, burns 8 to 10 calories a minute, similar to rowing.

“Audioshield, when modified with the proper settings, has a higher calorie burn per minute than an elliptical treadmill or a rowing machine,” Aaron Stanton, the founder of the institute told VRScout. “And games like Knockout League for boxing actually have a metabolic score that’s very, very equivalent to real world sparring.”

Video games have often been seen as a sedentary activity, the opposite of living a healthy life—but virtual reality not so much. VR has some form of inherent movement almost all the time. And as headset adoption continues to grow and we continue to cut the headset cord, we’re not far from seeing virtual and augmented reality experiences playing a larger role at your local gym or in your home workout routine in the near future.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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