How virtual reality helped this guy lose 50 pounds


Social Media Week

“When Stauffer first started out he spent 20 minutes in the headset, and over time 20 became 25, which became 45, which became 60, and sometimes he said he’d play for almost two hour straight.”

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If you work in technology, or you’re just interested by virtual reality’s potential, you likely hear about VR in news, journalism, video games, entertainment, art, travel or even real estate. It’s not too often, however, that we hear about VR for fitness and exercise.

Well, one gamer lost 50 pounds over the span of five months by regularly playing Soundboxing through his HTC Vive headset. If you’re not familiar with Soundboxing, it’s a game that allows you to select a video from YouTube that plays on your headset’s screen. In the game, objects fly towards you to the beat of the music you selected. The player is supposed to punch each of those objects while holding a pair of controllers.

Here’s what the game looks like:

 

Job Stauffer is the man who lost 50 pounds thanks to Soundboxing. Stauffer used to work in the video game industry, so he was aware of virtual reality and its ability to force one’s body into fully engaging the content.

He said, “VR and Soundboxing also has an immediacy and simplicity that the other gaming weight loss platforms lacked. There was also this added layer of immersion that I thought could help me shut out the rest of the world and focus on just myself and the movements.”

When Stauffer first started out he spent 20 minutes in the headset, and over time 20 became 25, which became 45, which became 60, and sometimes he said he’d play for almost two hour straight. “I even bought a set of one pound weighted gloves which may not sound like much but really engages your upper body a lot more than you’d think.”

VR and fitness apps

Virtual reality fitness is becoming a serious business. There are constantly new apps, products, tools, and technology emerging in the space that want to make it easier, more accessible, and more fun for people to lose weight or stay active through VR.

Earlier this year, Icaros made a splash in the VR and tech community. It’s a full-body system and VR combo that uses your core strength to control the movements of the machine and your character in the game. Essentially, you’re lying down in a plank position while virtually flying around.

Virtual reality is pushing boundaries in new and incredible ways, and fitness and health is no exception. Hopefully more people that want to lose weight can be as successful as Job, and perhaps gaming in VR is the answer they have been looking for.

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SMW Staff

SMW News, Social Media Week

@socialmediaweek

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