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J Clin Med. 2019 Jul 4;8(7). pii: E973. doi: 10.3390/jcm8070973.

The Effect of Cycling Through a Projection-Based Virtual Environment System on Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Wang TC1, Tsai CL2, Tang TW3,4,5,6, Wang WL1,7, Lee KT1,7.

Author information

1
Institute of Physical Education, Health & Leisure Studies, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City 701, Taiwan.
2
Institute of Physical Education, Health & Leisure Studies, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City 701, Taiwan. andytsai@mail.ncku.edu.tw.
3
Department of Leisure and Recreation Management, Asia University, Taichung City 413, Taiwan. twtang5@gmail.com.
4
Institute of Innovation and Circular Economy, Asia University, Taichung City 413, Taiwan. twtang5@gmail.com.
5
Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung City 402, Taiwan. twtang5@gmail.com.
6
Department of Family Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan City 704, Taiwan. twtang5@gmail.com.
7
Department of Family Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan City 704, Taiwan.

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to help clinical medicine manage generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, patients with GAD who use traditional head-mounted VR to cycle may cause them to feel motion sickness and fatigue. To solve this problem, a projection-based virtual environment (VE) system was built to provide GAD patients with a sense of immersion while they are cycling. This projection-based VE system allows patients with GAD to interact with the virtual environment and produce experiences similar to cycling in the outdoors. Sixty GAD patients met several screening criteria and were selected as participants. All participants were randomly assigned to one of the two 20-min conditions: (1) Observing watercolor paintings projected by the projector while engaged in cycling with a stationary bicycle; or (2) observing the scenes (i.e., forest or park) projected by the VE system and engaging in cycling with a stationary bicycle. Finally, this study confirmed that patients with GAD in the projection-based VE group exhibited higher alpha values and lower galvanic skin responses (GSR) after cycling than those cycling in the control group. These results showed that cycling in the projection-based VE group allowed the patient with GAD to achieve higher exercise intensity and lower perceived emotional stress.

KEYWORDS:

cycling; generalized anxiety disorder; projection-based virtual environment system; virtual reality

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