Virtual reality as a training tool to treat physical inactivity in children

Adam W. Kiefer*, David Pincus, Michael J. Richardson, Gregory D. Myer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Lack of adequate physical activity in children is an epidemic that can result in obesity and other poor health outcomes across the lifespan. Physical activity interventions focused on motor skill competence continue to be developed, but some interventions, such as neuromuscular training (NMT), may be limited in how early they can be implemented due to dependence on the child's level of cognitive and perceptual-motor development. Early implementation of motor-rich activities that support motor skill development in children is critical for the development of healthy levels of physical activity that carry through into adulthood. Virtual reality (VR) training may be beneficial in this regard. VR training, when grounded in an information-based theory of perceptual-motor behavior that modifies the visual information in the virtual world, can promote early development of motor skills in youth akin to more natural, real-world development as opposed to strictly formalized training. This approach can be tailored to the individual child and training scenarios can increase in complexity as the child develops. Ultimately, training in VR may help serve as a precursor to "real-world" NMT, and once the child reaches the appropriate training age can also augment more complex NMT regimens performed outside of the virtual environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number349
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • virtual reality
  • neuromuscular training
  • perceptual-motor learning
  • obesity prevention
  • physical inactivity

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