The Effect of Virtual Reality on Isometric Muscle Strength

Main Article Content

Umut Dolu
Asiye Filiz Camliguney


wall squat, pain intensity, perceived exertion, heart rate


The aim of the study is to determine the acute effects of virtual reality on isometric muscle strength, pain intensity, perceived exertion, and heart rate. The study sample comprised 46 male sedentary individuals with a mean age of 28,56±5,25, who don’t have a sports experience and any health problems. Participants were divided into two groups, A and B, and grouped randomly. The mean age of group A is 29,00±6,13 years, height 170,78±7,51 cm, body weight 70,58±9,57 kg. The mean age of group B is 27,69±3,94 years, height 172,69±6,32 cm, body weight 69,57±8,65 kg. During the Wall Squat Test, the participants verbally informed the perceived pain intensity and perceived exertion level every 30 seconds, and the heart rate was monitored using a smartwatch. After the first measurements were completed, a break was given for one week, and then a cross matching was made. According to the results of the study; It was determined that groups using virtual reality were more advantageous after first measurement and cross matching. Group virtual reality performed higher during the Wall Squat Test, and it was also determined that the pain intensity and perceived exertion levels were lower during the test. However, there was no significant difference in heart rate between the groups.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 147 | PDF Downloads 37


1. Li A, Montano Z, Chen VJ, Gold JI. Virtual reality and pain management: current trends and future directions. Pain Management 2011; 1: 147-157.
2. Matsangidou M, Ang CS, Mauger AR, Intarasirisawat J, Otkhmezuri B, Avraamides MN. Is your virtual self as sensational as your real? Virtual Reality: The effect of body consciousness on the experience of exercise sensations. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 2019; 41: 218-224.
3. Bayer TL, Coverdale JH, Chiang E, Bangs M. The role of prior pain experience and expectancy in psychologically and physically induced pain. Pain 1998; 74: 327-331.
4. Ohrbach R, Crow H, Kamer A. Examiner expectancy effects in the measurement of pressure pain thresholds. Pain 1998; 74: 163-170.
5. Zatzick DF, Dimsdale JE. Cultural variations in response to painful stimuli. Psychosomatic Medicine 1990; 52: 544-557.
6. Mauger AR. Factors affecting the regulation of pacing: current perspectives. Journal of Sports Medicine 2014; 5: 209-214.
7. Gold JI, Belmont KA, Thomas DA. The neurobiology of virtual reality pain attenuation. Cyberpsychology & Behavior: The impact of the internet, multimedia and virtual reality on behavior and society 2007; 10: 536-544.
8. McCaul KD, Malott JM. Distraction and coping with pain. Psychological Bulletin 1984; 95: 516-533.
9. Mahrer NE, Gold JI. The use of virtual reality for pain control: a review. Current Pain and Headache Reports 2009; 13: 100-109.
10. Malloy KM, Milling LS. The effectiveness of virtual reality distraction for pain reduction: a systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review 2010; 30: 1011-1018.
11. Matsangidou M, Ang CS, Sakel M. Clinical utility of virtual reality in pain management: a comprehensive research review. British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 2017; 13: 133-143.
12. Morris LD, Louw QA, Grimmer Somers K. The effectiveness of virtual reality on reducing pain and anxiety in burn injury patients: a systematic review. The Clinical Journal of Pain 2009; 25: 815-826.
13. Cook DB, O'Connor PJ, Eubanks SA, Smith JC, Lee M. Naturally occurring muscle pain during exercise: assessment and experimental evidence. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1997; 29: 999-1012.
14. Borg G. Borg's perceived exertion and pain scales. Human Kinetics 33-38; 1998.
15. Goldberg L, Elliot DL, Kuehl KS. A Comparison of the Cardiovascular Effects of Running and Weight Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 1994; 8: 219-224.
16. Stuart MJ, Meglan DA, Lutz GE, Growney ES, An KN. Comparison of intersegmental tibiofemoral joint forces and muscle activity during various closed kinetic chain exercises. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 1996; 24: 792-799.
17. Fry AC. Coaching considerations for the barbell squat-Part 1. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 1993; 15: 556–569.
18. Cho M. The effects of modified wall squat exercises on average adults deep abdominal muscle thickness and lumbar stability. Journal of Physical Therapy Science 2013; 25: 689-692.
19. Tomchuk D. Companion Guide to Measurement and Evaluation for Kinesiology. Jones Bartlett Publishers 20-33; 2011.
20. Mackenzie B. 101 Performance Evaluation Tests. Jonathan Pye 170-177; 2005.
21. Vance J, Wulf G, Tollner T, McNevin N, Mercer J. EMG Activity As A Function of The Performer's Focus of Attention. Journal of Motor Behavior 2004; 36: 450-459.
22. Marchant DC, Greig M, Scott C. Attentional focusing instructions influence force production and muscular activity during isokinetic elbow flexions. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2009; 23: 2358-2366.
23. Wender C, Sun A, Patrick O. Interactive Virtual Reality Reduces Quadriceps Pain During High Intensity Cycling. Medicine and Science In Sports And Exercise 2019; 51: 2088-2097.
24. Carrougher GJ, Hoffman HG, Nakamura D, Lezotte D, Soltani M, Leahy L, Patterson DR. The effect of virtual reality on pain and range of motion in adults with burn injuries. Journal of Burn Care and Research: Official Publication of the American Burn Association 2009; 30: 785–791.
25. Hoffman HG, Meyer WJ, Ramirez M, Roberts L, Seibel EJ, Atzori B, Patterson DR. Feasibility of articulated arm mounted Oculus Rift Virtual Reality goggles for adjunctive pain control during occupational therapy in pediatric burn patients. Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking 2014; 17: 397–401.
26. Kipping B, Rodger S, Miller K, Kimble RM. Virtual reality for acute pain reduction in adolescents undergoing burn wound care: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 2012; 38: 650–657.
27. Maani CV, Hoffman HG, Morrow M, Maiers A, Gaylord K, McGhee LL, DeSocio PA. Virtual reality pain control during burn wound debridement of combat related burn injuries using robot like arm mounted VR goggles. The Journal of Trauma 2011; 71: 125-130.
28. Schmitt YS, Hoffman HG, Blough DK, Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Soltani M, Sharar SR. A randomized controlled trial of immersive virtual reality analgesia during physical therapy for pediatric burns. Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 2011; 37: 61-68.
29. Bahat HS, Takasaki H, Chen X, Betor Y, Treleaven J. Cervical kinematic training with and without interactive VR training for chronic neck pain a randomized clinical trial. Manual Therapy 2015; 20: 68-78.
30. Wiederhold MD, Gao K, Wiederhold BK. Clinical use of virtual reality distraction system to reduce anxiety and pain in dental procedures. Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking 2014; 17: 359-365.
31. Liu W, Zeng N, Pope ZC, McDonough D, Gao Z. Virtual Reality Exercise on College Students Mood and Rating of Perceived Exertion. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2019; 51: 841-842.
32. Chen CH, Jeng MC, Fung CP, Doong JL, Chuang TY. Psychological benefits of virtual reality for patients in rehabilitation therapy. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 2009; 18: 258-268.
33. Zeng N, Pope Z, Gao Z. Acute effect of virtual reality exercise bike games on college students physiological and psychological outcomes. Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking 2017; 20: 453-457.
34. Murray EG, Neumann DL, Moffitt RL, Thomas PR. The effects of the presence of others during a rowing exercise in a virtual reality environment. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 2016; 22: 328-336.
35. Plante TG, Aldridge A, Bogden R, Hanelin C. Might virtual reality promote the mood benefits of exercise? Computers in Human Behavior 2003; 19: 495-509.
36. Sullivan C, Schneider PE, Musselman RJ, Dummett JC, Gardiner D. The effect of virtual reality during dental treatment on child anxiety and behavior. ASDC Journal of Dentistry for Children 2000; 67: 193-196.
37. Busscher B, Vliegher D, Ling Y, Brinkman WP. Physiological measures and self-report to evaluate neutral virtual reality worlds. Journal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation 2011; 4: 15-25.
38. Finkelstein S, Nickel A, Lipps Z, Barnes T, Wartell Z, Suma EA. Astrojumper: Motivating exercise with an immersive virtual reality exergame. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 2011; 20: 78-92.