The effect of viewing a virtual environment through a head-mounted display on balance.

TitleThe effect of viewing a virtual environment through a head-mounted display on balance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuteursRobert, MT, Ballaz, L, Lemay, M
JournalGait Posture
Date Published2016 07
KeywordsAdult, Female, Head, Humans, Male, Postural Balance, Virtual Reality

INTRODUCTION: In the next few years, several head-mounted displays (HMD) will be publicly released making virtual reality more accessible. HMD are expected to be widely popular at home for gaming but also in clinical settings, notably for training and rehabilitation. HMD can be used in both seated and standing positions; however, presently, the impact of HMD on balance remains largely unknown. It is therefore crucial to examine the impact of viewing a virtual environment through a HMD on standing balance.OBJECTIVES: To compare static and dynamic balance in a virtual environment perceived through a HMD and the physical environment. The visual representation of the virtual environment was based on filmed image of the physical environment and was therefore highly similar.DESIGN: This is an observational study in healthy adults.RESULTS: No significant difference was observed between the two environments for static balance. However, dynamic balance was more perturbed in the virtual environment when compared to that of the physical environment.CONCLUSIONS: HMD should be used with caution because of its detrimental impact on dynamic balance. Sensorimotor conflict possibly explains the impact of HMD on balance.

Alternate JournalGait Posture
PubMed ID27344394