Virtual reality took the gaming world by storm, and Oculus is leading this emerging industry. Their best-selling headset Quest 2 has sold over 10 million units in less than two years since its release. However, all this success takes the attention away from a couple of important issues regarding VR. In this article, we will tackle one of such problems, which is what are the health effects of Oculus Quest 2? Is VR harmful to our health, or can it also bring some benefits?
First and foremost, Oculus Quest 2 is known to cause eye strain. It’s because of how virtual reality works. Briefly, your VR headset creates the perception of depth by showing each of your eyes slightly different images at the same. It results in a powerful illusion that makes you feel like you’re actually inside the virtual world. However, at the same time, it causes several negative health effects, like eye strain.
Another factor playing into eye strain is a field of view (FOV), which shows how much area one can see around them. On average, humans have a field of view of 200 degrees. However, all VR headsets have lower FOV, with Oculus Quest 2 having a FOV of about 90 degrees, slightly varying by settings. Human eyes are not accustomed to such a narrow FOV, which causes additional strain.
Motion Sickness and Headaches
Other negative health effects some Oculus Quest 2 users report are motion sickness and headaches. To explain it simply, it’s a result of false signals your eyes are sending to the brain. When you’re playing games in VR, your eyes are telling your brain that you’re moving. However, in reality, you’re standing still, and your brain knows that. As a result, this miscommunication between your eyes and brain can cause motion sickness and headaches. Luckily, it’s unlikely that these symptoms can cause more severe health problems in the long term.
Increased Fitness Level
That being said, Oculus Quest 2 can also have a positive effect on your health. Some users use this headset to exercise, and there are several apps designed specifically for this purpose, like Holofit, FitXR, and Supernatural. Exercising in virtual reality is way more engaging than doing it at the gym, and you can lose some weight or even get in shape thanks to Oculus Quest 2. This headset even comes with a default system app called Oculus Move, which is a fitness tracker that shows your activity level throughout the week.
Improved Mental Health
Another positive health effect of Oculus Quest 2 is that it can improve your mental wellbeing. Since the 21st century, mental disorders like depression and anxiety are on the rise. The Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing, and the quarantine took a huge toll on our mental health. However, using Oculus Quest 2 can help you deal with isolation and loneliness, as you can meet new people in VR. One of the most popular Oculus games is VRChat, which is basically what you would get by combining VR with social media. Many people have started new relationships in VRChat, and some players even reported their anxiety improving thanks to this game.
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