Virtual Reality Customized 360-Degree Experiences for Stress Relief
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AuthorVaquero Blasco, Miguel Ángel; Pérez Valero, Eduardo; Morillas Gutiérrez, Christian Agustín; López Gordo, Miguel Ángel
Vaquero-Blasco, M.A.; Perez-Valero, E.; Morillas, C.; Lopez-Gordo, M.A. Virtual Reality Customized 360-Degree Experiences for Stress Relief. Sensors 2021, 21, 2219. https://doi.org/10.3390/ s21062219
The latest studies in virtual reality (VR) have evidenced the potential of this technology to reproduce environments from multiple domains in an immersive way. For instance, in stress relief research, VR has been presented as a portable and inexpensive alternative to chromotherapy rooms, which require an adapted space and are expensive. In this work, we propose a portable and versatile alternative to the traditional chromotherapy color-loop treatment through four different 360-degree virtual experiences. A group of 23 healthy participants (mean age 22.65 ± 5.48) were conducted through a single-session experience divided into four phases while their electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. First, they were stressed via the Montreal imaging stress task (MIST), and then relaxed using our VR proposal. We applied the Wilcoxon test to evaluate the relaxation effect in terms of the EEG relative gamma and self-perceived stress surveys. The results that we obtained validate the effectiveness of our 360-degree proposal to significantly reduce stress (p-value = 0.0001). Furthermore, the participants deemed our proposal comfortable and immersive (score above 3.5 out of 5). These results suggest that 360-degree VR experiences can mitigate stress, reduce costs, and bring stress relief assistance closer to the general public, like in workplaces or homes.