Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) technology offers an exciting way to emulate real-life walking conditions that may better elicit changes in emotional state. We aimed to determine whether VR technology is a feasible way to elicit changes in state anxiety during walking. Electrocardiogram data were collected for 18 older adult women while they navigated a baseline walking task, a dual walking task, and four walking VR environments. Using heart rate variability (HRV) analysis, we found that all four of the VR environments successfully elicited a significantly higher level of state anxiety as compared to the walking baseline, with 84% of participants eliciting a significantly lower HRV in each of the four VR conditions as compared to baseline walking. VR was also found to be a more reliable tool for increasing state anxiety as compared to a dual task, where only 47% of participants demonstrated a significantly lower HRV as compared to baseline walking. VR, therefore, could be promising as a tool to elicit changes in state anxiety and less limited in its ability to elicit changes as compared to a traditional dual task condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages583-586
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728111797
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2021 - Virtual, Online, Mexico
Duration: Nov 1 2021Nov 5 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
ISSN (Print)1557-170X

Conference

Conference43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2021
Country/TerritoryMexico
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/1/2111/5/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Biomedical Engineering

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