Virtual Reality as a Portable Alternative to Chromotherapy Rooms for Stress Relief: A Preliminary Study
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AuthorVaquero Blasco, Miguel Ángel; Pérez Valero, Eduardo; López Gordo, Miguel Ángel; Morillas Gutiérrez, Christian Agustín
Vaquero-Blasco, M. A., Perez-Valero, E., Lopez-Gordo, M. A., & Morillas, C. (2020). Virtual Reality as a Portable Alternative to Chromotherapy Rooms for Stress Relief: A Preliminary Study. Sensors, 20(21), 6211. [doi:10.3390/s20216211]
SponsorshipSpanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities PGC2018-098813-B-C31 TIN2016-75097-P; European Union (EU) PGC2018-098813-B-C31; Nicolo Association for the R&D in Neurotechnologies for disability
Chromotherapy rooms are comfortable spaces, used in places like special needs schools, where stimuli are carefully selected to cope with stress. However, these rooms are expensive and require a space that cannot be reutilized. In this article, we propose the use of virtual reality (VR) as an inexpensive and portable alternative to chromotherapy rooms for stress relief. We recreated a chromotherapy room stress relief program using a commercial head mounted display (HD). We assessed the stress level of two groups (test and control) through an EEG biomarker, the relative gamma, while they experienced a relaxation session. First, participants were stressed using the Montreal imaging stress task (MIST). Then, for relaxing, the control group utilized a chromotherapy room while the test group used virtual reality. We performed a hypothesis test to compare the selfperceived stress level at di erent stages of the experiment and it yielded no significant di erences in reducing stress for both groups, during relaxing (p-value: 0.8379, = 0.05) or any other block. Furthermore, according to participant surveys, the use of virtual reality was deemed immersive, comfortable and pleasant (3.9 out of 5). Our preliminary results validate our approach as an inexpensive and portable alternative to chromotherapy rooms for stress relief.