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Chanel T. LoJacono, Ryan P. MacPherson, Nikita A. Kuznetsov, Louisa D. Raisbeck, Scott E. Ross and Christopher K. Rhea

new and more advanced rehabilitation techniques, one of which is virtual reality. The use of virtual reality is defined as a simulation of a real environment that is generated through computer software and is experienced by the user through a human-machine interface ( Holden, 2005 ). From a motor

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Katherine L. Hsieh, Yaejin Moon, Vignesh Ramkrishnan, Rama Ratnam and Jacob J. Sosnoff

measure postural stability, such as the functional reach task, 6 trunk sway, 7 and center of pressure (COP) measures (ie, velocity, area). 8 One method of measuring postural stability is determining virtual time to contact (VTC). VTC provides an estimate of how long it would take an individual to lose

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Yongwoo Lee, Wonjae Choi, Kyeongjin Lee, Changho Song and Seungwon Lee

; Iwamoto et al., 2009 ). However, a simple exercise may become monotonous or boring to older adults. Alternatively, augmented reality, virtual reality, and video-game-based training are available ( de Bruin, Schoene, Pichierri, & Smith, 2010 ; Duque et al., 2013 ). In particular, previous studies have

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Anat V. Lubetzky, Bryan D. Hujsak, Gene Fu and Ken Perlin

are limited to the research laboratory setting and cannot be utilized in the clinic. Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technology such as the Oculus Rift (Oculus VR, LLC; Menlo Park, CA) and the HTC Vive (HTC Corporation, New Taipei City, Taiwan) could potentially help identify movement patterns

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Wonjae Choi and Seungwon Lee

advantages of reducing age-related physical and cognitive deterioration, but it has a safety issue considering that it should be performed on water. Virtual reality is used to safely simulate natural motion ( Bohil, Alicea, & Biocca, 2011 ), ensure consistent and planned application of standardized

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Kevin R. Ford, Anh-Dung Nguyen, Eric J. Hegedus and Jeffrey B. Taylor

Virtual environments with real-time feedback can simulate extrinsic goals that mimic real life conditions. The purpose was to compare jump performance and biomechanics with a physical overhead goal (POG) and with a virtual overhead goal (VOG). Fourteen female subjects participated (age: 18.8 ± 1.1 years, height: 163.2 ± 8.1 cm, weight 63.0 ± 7.9 kg). Sagittal plane trunk, hip, and knee biomechanics were calculated during the landing and take-off phases of drop vertical jump with different goal conditions. Repeated-measures ANOVAs determined differences between goal conditions. Vertical jump height displacement was not different during VOG compared with POG. Greater hip extensor moment (P < .001*) and hip angular impulse (P < .004*) were found during VOG compared with POG. Subjects landed more erect with less magnitude of trunk flexion (P = .002*) during POG compared with VOG. A virtual target can optimize jump height and promote increased hip moments and trunk flexion. This may be a useful alternative to physical targets to improve performance during certain biomechanical testing, screening, and training conditions.

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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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Ryan Charles Luke and Jaye K. Luke

At many institutions introductory exercise physiology courses are required for all kinesiology students. The laboratory portion of these courses usually involves development of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) connected with content presented in lecture. Due to scalability issues, the Kinesiology Department at California State University Monterey Bay cannot offer traditional laboratory experiences. Therefore, online and hybrid laboratory experiences were created to provide similar opportunities for students, address scalability issues, and enhance student engagement and learning. Creation of these carefully crafted laboratory experiences allowed instructors to (a) highlight and explain key foundational principles, (b) provide experiences involving practical application of material presented in lecture, and (c) present students with additional learning experiences while maintaining high learner expectations. The following article outlines the process used to create these virtual laboratory experiences for students in an undergraduate introductory exercise physiology course.

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Rachel Proffitt, Belinda Lange, Christina Chen and Carolee Winstein

The purpose of this study was to explore the subjective experience of older adults interacting with both virtual and real environments. Thirty healthy older adults engaged with real and virtual tasks of similar motor demands: reaching to a target in standing and stepping stance. Immersive tendencies and absorption scales were administered before the session. Game engagement and experience questionnaires were completed after each task, followed by a semistructured interview at the end of the testing session. Data were analyzed respectively using paired t tests and grounded theory methodology. Participants preferred the virtual task over the real task. They also reported an increase in presence and absorption with the virtual task, describing an external focus of attention. Findings will be used to inform future development of appropriate game-based balance training applications that could be embedded in the home or community settings as part of evidence-based fall prevention programs.

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Yi-An Chen, Yu-Chen Chung, Rachel Proffitt, Eric Wade and Carolee Winstein

Attention during exercise is known to affect performance; however, the attentional demand inherent to virtual reality (VR)-based exercise is not well understood. We used a dual-task paradigm to compare the attentional demands of VR-based and non-VR-based (conventional, real-world) exercise: 22 older adults (with no diagnosed disabilities) performed a primary reaching task to virtual and real targets in a counterbalanced block order while verbally responding to an unanticipated auditory tone in one third of the trials. The attentional demand of the primary reaching task was inferred from the voice response time (VRT) to the auditory tone. Participants’ engagement level and task experience were also obtained using questionnaires. The virtual target condition was more attention demanding (significantly longer VRT) than the real target condition. Secondary analyses revealed a significant interaction between engagement level and target condition on attentional demand. For participants who were highly engaged, attentional demand was high and independent of target condition. However, for those who were less engaged, attentional demand was low and depended on target condition (i.e., virtual > real). These findings add important knowledge to the growing body of research pertaining to the development and application of technology-enhanced exercise for older adults and for rehabilitation purposes.