Psychological and physiological responses in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: The use of acute exercise and virtual reality environment

Tsai Chiao Wang, Cindy Hui Ping Sit, Ta Wei Tang, Chia Liang Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Virtual exercise therapy is considered a useful method by which to encourage patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to engage in aerobic exercise in order to reduce stress. This study was intended to explore the psychological and physiological responses of patients with GAD after cycling in a virtual environment containing natural images. Seventy-seven participants with GAD were recruited in the present study and randomly assigned to a virtual nature (VN) or a virtual abstract painting (VAP) group. Their electroencephalogram alpha activity, perceived stress, and levels of restorative quality and satisfaction were assessed at baseline and after an acute bout of 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. The results showed that both the VN and VAP groups showed significantly higher alpha activity post-exercise as compared to pre-exercise. The VN group relative to the VAP group exhibited higher levels of stress-relief, restorative quality, and personal satisfaction. These findings imply that a virtual exercise environment is an effective way to induce a relaxing effect in patients with GAD. However, they exhibited more positive psychological responses when exercising in such an environment with natural landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4855
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological and physiological responses in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: The use of acute exercise and virtual reality environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this