MOBILE SOCIAL WORK

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Virtual Reality Compares Favourably With Face-To-Face For Weight Loss

A study from the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center compared weight loss and maintenance between a face-to-face weight management clinic and a clinic delivered via virtual reality in Second Life. The researchers conclude that virtual reality compares favourably with face-to-face for weight loss and may facilitate greater weight maintenance. Here is the abstract of the article that was published in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 45, Issue 3 , Pages 264-268, May 2013.

 
Abstract

Objective

Compare weight loss and maintenance between a face-to-face (FTF) weight management clinic and a clinic delivered via virtual reality (VR).

Methods

Participants were randomized to 3 months of weight loss with a weekly clinic delivered via FTF or VR and then 6 months’ weight maintenance delivered with VR. Data were collected at baseline and 3 and 6 months for weight and process variables. Twenty overweight and obese individuals (31.1 ± 3.6 years of age; body mass index, 32.8 ± 5.1; 85% females; 20% minorities) responded to advertisement and met inclusion criteria. Diets (1,200–1,800 kcal/d) used prepackaged meals, fruits and vegetables, and physical activity (300 min/wk).

Results

Weight Second LifeWeight loss was significantly greater for FTF at 10.8% compared with 7.6% for VR (P < .05). However, weight maintenance was significantly greater for VR at 14.0% compared with 9.5% for FTF (P < .05).

Conclusions and Implications

Virtual reality compares favorably with FTF for weight loss and may facilitate greater weight maintenance.

Interested in Second Life? You may also like Woman with Parkinson’s Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life – Academics Researching.

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Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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