Navigation Links
ACSM: Weight loss success in a 3-D virtual world
Date:6/3/2011

Participants in two weight-loss programs -- one involving traditional health club sessions and the other delivered online in a 3D virtual world -- lost similar amounts of weight and body fat, but the online contingent reported significantly greater gains in behaviors that could help them live healthier and leaner lives.

"It's counter-intuitive, the idea of being more active in a virtual world, but the activities that they do in a virtual world can carry over into the real world," said Jeanne Johnston, assistant professor of kinesiology at Indiana University. "Through visualization and education, they can try activities that they had not tried before."

More and more people have been turning to online weight-loss programs, but Johnston said the programs often lack important elements of human interaction. The IU researchers wanted to travel even farther into cyber space by evaluating a weight-loss program offered in a virtual-reality environment, where visitors use avatars to interact with others or the computer-simulated environment -- in this case, a simulated fitness club.

"The virtual world program was at least as beneficial as the face-to-face program and in some ways, more effective," Johnston said. "It has the potential to reach people who normally wouldn't go to a gym or join a program because of limitations, such as time or discomfort with a fitness center environment."

The findings in the study "Comparison of a Face-to-Face versus Virtual World Weight Loss Program" will be discussed on Friday at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Denver. They will be presented during a poster presentation in Hall B from 8-9:30 a.m. MDT.

For 12 weeks, members of the each weight-loss program spent at least four hours a week attending meetings at a virtual or real club. In both they learned about nutrition, physical activity, changing habits and how to benefit from social supports. The study involved overweight and obese people -- mostly women. The average age of the face-to-face group was 37. The average age of the virtual world group, which provided training in how to use the Web-based platform Second Life, http://secondlife.com/, was 46.

The participants in each group lost a comparable amount of weight -- on average almost 10 pounds -- and saw similar decreases in body mass index and body fat. The big differences between the two groups involved behaviors. Participants in the face-to-face group reported no significant changes in any of the behaviors evaluated -- actions involving healthy eating, physical activity and sleeping habits. The virtual world participants reported positive changes in all the healthy eating and physical activity measures except the number of hours slept.

"They also had more confidence in their ability to perform physical activity in difficult situations, such as bad weather, vacations, low-energy days," Johnston said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeanne Johnston
jdjohnst@indiana.edu
812-855-5073
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Parental exposure to BPA during pregnancy associated with decreased birth weight in offspring
2. Pistachios pummel pretzels as a weight-wise snack
3. System in brain -- target of class of diabetes drugs -- linked to weight gain
4. Extreme weight gain raises risk for recurrence among breast cancer survivors
5. Study finds weight training safe for pregnant women
6. Study finds that overweight people really are big-boned
7. Study provides explanation for connection between low birth weight and obesity later in life
8. Intervention helps women manage weight during and after pregnancy
9. Extensive research demonstrates fructose does not increase food intake or impact weight
10. Body weight regulation and metabolism focus of workshop
11. Not all infant formulas are alike: Differential effects on weight gain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, a leader of iris-based identity ... biometric solution on the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 ... World Congress 2017 (February 27 – March ... 3, Stand 3E10. The Snapdragon ... platform—a combination of hardware, software and biometrics ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, ... today announced that it has received Laboratory Accreditation ... CAP Accreditation is presented to laboratories that meet ... who demonstrate scientifically rigorous processes. "Genos ... excellence in laboratory practices. We,re honored to be ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... , Feb 10, 2017 Research ... report "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" ... ... medicine. Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment ... early detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. ... This report analyzes the ... Million. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2014 ... secondary research. The report profiles 25 companies including ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 Agenus Inc. ... immune checkpoint antibodies and cancer vaccines, today announced participation ... 7 th  Annual William Blair and Maidstone Life Sciences ... Alexandria Center in New York, NY ... March 29 at 9:40 am: Robert B. ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: NWBO) ... immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, today announced ... financing it announced last Friday, March 17, 2017. ... institutional investors securities totaling 28,843,692 shares, comprised of ... 10,000,000 shares of Class C Warrants pre-funded at ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... CT (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... LLC, was recently selected by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 ... at CTC’s thirteenth annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: