Using Virtual Reality to Motivate Physical Activity

Recent research suggests that virtual reality (VR) games can engage players in physical activity. Understanding users’ motivation to engage and enjoy immersive VR exercise platforms can provide important input for the design process as well as assessment of VR exergames.

We developed VR-Rides, an experimental and customizable VR exercise platform. Through considering various features, we examine factors that might influence a player’s experience of need satisfaction (using self-determination theory as a basis for assessment), enjoyment and motivation. Our findings suggest that design features are important but so are the player background (whether they are experienced in video game play or exercise). We suggest creating flexible platforms that can be tailored for players who are entertainment or exercise-focused.

  • Dr Kiran Ijaz
  • Dr Naseem Ahmadopur
  • Prof Rafael A. Calvo
  • Dr Yifan Yang