Indoor cyclists who wore virtual-reality headsets experienced less leg-muscle pain during brief, high-intensity intervals than cyclists who wore headsets showing static images, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2019; 51 , 2088–97).
“This experiment is an important first step in . . . combining exercise and virtual reality,” said lead study author Carly Wender, doctoral student, Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia.
Researchers found that during the second and third sprints, quadriceps pain was 12%–13% less intense in participants using interactive VR than in the noninteractive group. Cycling performance, however, was the same in both groups. More research is warranted.