What the Tech? Virtual reality being used to help people stay in shape | What The Tech?

Nia Stout straps on an Oculus headset, and grabs the hand controls which appear in the virtual world as boxing gloves. She’s suddenly standing in a boxing ring as a virtual trainer gives instructions.

“All right, let’s go.”

It’s one of only a few fitness apps for the Oculus Quest with a free subscription model. Liteboxer VR is a real workout in a virtual world.

“One-two, one-two, great. One, two.” Punching targets to the beat of the music. The harder you punch, the more accurate you are, and the higher your score.

“A boxing workout is the most intense workout I’ve ever done in my life. It’s a full-body workout that is exhausting,” Nia said.

The Stouts use an Oculus to play games as a family. It’s Aaron’s first time using it specifically for a workout. After a few minutes of punching targets in the virtual ring, he says turning a workout into a game would keep him using it again and again.

“It’s very effective. Like I said I need that motivation. I want to be beating my score or beating my friend. I would be more motivated to do it every day,” Aaron Stout said.

Wanting to see for myself, I strapped on the Oculus for a nine-minute Liteboxer workout. As I punched, the music got faster and I got sweatier. If you’re familiar with the popular Wi gaming system from a decade ago, an Oculus workout is similar. But totally immersive. You lose all sense of reality. It’s just you and the targets.

I did a 9-minute workout and burned 54 calories which is more than I’d burn on a treadmill in the real world. So not only is working out in virtual reality effective, it’s a lot of fun.

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