Even if, you aren’t looking at statistics, you can easily say that a lot of people aren’t living a healthy lifestyle. All you need to do is look outside and you will see a lot of obese people. For sure, they had tried countless ways to lose weight like fad diets, exercise programs, diet pills and other methods, but never succeeded. That is the reason why some scientists are looking for ways to counteract obesity. Recently a new study suggests claimed that watching an avatar you created in the virtual reality can help you lose weight.
Melissa Napolitano, PhD, an associate professor of prevention and community health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) said that the study showed some potential in helping people to lose weight. A person doesn’t need to be a gamer to benefit from weight loss program as they just need to watch the avatar do their thing. The study is about building a better and healthier habit with the help of virtual reality.
This was not the first study as there is already a study that showed how virtual reality can reinforce people’s interest in losing weight. It works because the avatar resembles the person who makes them. So, if the avatar is doing something to help himself lose weight, the person who modeled the avatar would be encourage to lose weight too. The principle is like ‘if he can do it then so can I’.
Napolitano and her associates did the research at a research center focused on obesity with some help from an institute for cancer. During that time, they were wondering on whether avatars can be use to help overweight women lose weight.
For the study, they gathered 128 overweight women and let them create an avatar that resembles them. Most of the participants never did like playing video games. Though, most of these women weren’t into gaming, around 88% said that they would want to use the weight loss program again to help them lose weight.
Given that most participants weren’t avid gamers, the researchers created a video of the avatars walking on a treadmill, running and many more to lose weight. The participants were fond of watching the video since most of them aren’t really gamers at all. All they did was choose the physical aspect that would resemble them. Napolitano said that the avatar resembling the participants help the women to be motivated.