A few minutes in VR reduces stress for frontline COVID-19 workers, study finds
In order to achieve the desired effect, GRID Lab partnered with the Ohio Museum Complex to capture the images needed for the three-minute simulation. The crew filmed inside a nature preserve located in southeastern Ohio that is part of the museum complex. The area was lush, teeming with life and, above all, tranquil. The filming was done in such a way as to later allow for a fully immersive virtual reality experience, including walking around and looking in different directions.
The resulting video immerses viewers in the beauty of nature. It’s not meant to be an exciting experience. Viewers can explore nature, listen to birdsong, the wind, and just breathe – there are no voice actors or anything else to disrupt relaxation. It’s a short experiment, but according to the study, it was found to be effective.
Once the virtual reality experience was ready for testing, it was distributed to 102 volunteers. The sample included people working in three different COVID hospital units, and people from many different professions were involved, ranging from direct care providers to administrative staff. Stress levels were assessed by the frontline workers in question and recorded before and after viewing the tranquil video.