The Comparison of Virtual Reality Therapy Versus Nature Therapy on Stress: A Proposed Study
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Technology is changing the world at an astonishing pace. It has been incorporated in almost every aspect of our lives. This study looks at the utilization of virtual reality technology in the therapist’s environment for stress relief. A common way to reduce stress has been to take a walk through the woods or in some natural setting. If someone is unable to access these types of environments regularly, could virtual reality systems be used to simulate these natural environments and still achieve similar stress reduction? Virtual reality devices are becoming much more readily available to the general public. This could allow those in dense cities to access natural environments without having to leave their homes. Although there are still many shortcomings of virtual reality compared to the real-world such as stimulation of all the senses, there have been large improvements to the lifelike aspects of virtual reality. One aspect that is incorporated in this proposed study is that of sound. Rather than experiencing an environment solely with vision, the participants will also be wearing headphones to further the experience. Participants 18-23 years old in this proposed study would either complete a 20 minute virtual nature walk or a 20 minute nature walk and then would compare their stress levels before and after through questionnaires.
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