HTC Vive owner Aaron Stanton recently published the findings of an interesting experiment via a Facebook note. The intrepid early VR adopter set out to discover which of his Vive games would get his heart rate the highest.
As Stanton wrote, “In the 8 weeks that I have owned it, the HTC Vive has become the most used piece of exercise equipment I’ve ever owned.”
Other VR fans have reported similar athletic benefits when using the Vive. Stanton’s goal, however, was to determine if, “Augmented Exercise, as I call it, is actually exercise.”
To do this he devised an experiment. After fiddling with the heart rate tracking on an Apple Watch, Stanton decided to go all in and purchase a Polar H7 chest strap heart monitor. Using an app called Motifit to track his gameplay, Stanton fired up seven of the Vive’s most physically demanding games and began to collect his data.
For some of the experiences, Stanton added weight resistance to increase his training, but for others he did not. These are the results he saw in heart rate and calories burned as the experiment concluded:
Audioshield w/o weights – 96.75 bpm – 413 calories/hr
Audioshield w weights 118.2 bpm – 610 calories/hr
Hover Junkers w/o weights – 105 bpm – 487 calories/hr
Holopoint w/o weights – 168 bpm – 764 calories/hr
Thrill of the Fight w weights – 144 bpm – 851 calories/hr
Spell Fighter w/o weights – 86 bpm – 314 calories/hr
Orc Hunter w/o weights – 105 bpm – 500 calories/hr
Quiver Aplha w/o weights – 87 bpm – 322 calories/hr
To put that into perspective, the common consensus in the fitness community is that running a mile burns between 100-150 calories on average. This means that by some estimates playing Audioshield for an hour, even without weights, is equivalent to running about four miles in terms of burned calories.
The clear winner in this experiment is clearly Thrill of The Fight. This VR boxing experience burned a whopping 851 calories in an hour and rocketed Stanton’s heart rate up to 144 bpm. Again, to add some perspective, a well trained sprinter’s maximum heart rate is around 168 beats per minute and they will usually hit 90 percent of that when going all out.
It’s good to keep in mind that Stanton did use wrist and chest weights for some of these tests, but by all accounts it seems that the Vive is capable of offering a substantial workout experience to its users.
If you or someone you know is attempting to lose weight with the Vive give us a shout in the comments!