VR Health Exercise Tracker: The World’s First VR-Specific Calorie App:

Virtual Reality is emerging as a powerful tool in the fight against the sedative lifestyle, and adult & childhood obesity. An estimated 15% of virtual reality games burn enough calories during typical play to qualify as medium to intense exercise. In metabolic testing at the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and SFSU’s Kinesiology labs, the most intense games like Thrill of the Fight, Knockout League, Beat Saber, Audio Trip, and others are capable of burning more calories/minute than most dedicated workout equipment at the gym.

But general purpose fitness trackers struggle to predict calorie burn for new exercises, even with heart rate data. Since VR and AR are new, and each game uses a different set of muscles depending on the types of gameplay, there’s virtually no data that normal exercise trackers can use to estimate how many calories you burn during exercise.

This app is built on hundreds of hours of VR-specific metabolic testing using research-grade equipment in the labs of the VR Institute of Health & Exercise in California, making it the only official calorie tracker designed to be accurate for exercising in VR.


Track Your Heart Rate & Calories in VR

The VR Exercise Tracker uses hundreds of hours of metabolic VR data to calculate your calorie cost in each game we've tested in the lab.

Personalized Calorie Predictions

Predict the calorie burn you can personally expect from each game based on your body stats.

Discover Healthy VR Games

The VR Health Institute continuously rates new games for use in the VR Exercise Tracker. Sort games by how many calories you can personally expect to burn in each.

Free & Transparent

The VR Health Institute is an objective third-party ratings organization dedicated to promoting healthy VR. This app is a service of the institution, and will always be free to use.


Compatible With Standard Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors:

The VR Exercise Tracker is compatible with standard bluetooth heart rate monitors. Here are a few models that we have tested and recommend:

An Official App of the VR Health Institute:

In 2016, the VR Institute of Health and Exercise created the VR Health Rating system, an independent system for rating VR content using research-grade metabolic equipment. For three years, the VR Health Institute has been collaborating with the Kinesiology department at San Francisco State University to collect metabolic data on VR experiences using COSMED and PARVO metabolic carts.

These are the academic standard for metabolic research, and typically range from $75,000 to $150,000 each. Hundreds of hours of VR-specific metabolic and calorie data has been collected on dozens of subjects. Much of this data has already been published in peer reviewed scientific journals, or is pending publication.

So What Does the App Actually Use:

The VR Health Exercise Tracker tries to incorporate two sets of VR-specific data to create a better fitness tracker for VR.

  • Calorie Calculations Per Game Based on Metabolic Data: Each game in the app has been rated by the VR Health Institute. This allows us to estimate your personalized calorie burn based on the game’s MET score and your biometric data. We hope this will help you discover new games that may be good exercise as we rate them.
  • Heart-Rate-to-Calorie Formulas Specific to VR and AR Movements: In addition to rating each game, the VR Health Institute has hundreds of hours of heart rate and calorie cost data during gameplay from the metabolic carts. With this, we are creating the calorie formulas needed to more accurately predict calorie burn based on heart rate. Without this data making it equally accessible to other forms of exercise, we feel that it will be difficult for VR and AR exercise to be taken seriously by the health community.

How Can You Help?:

We’re glad you asked. This project is both an emerging area of academic research and a passion project for most of the team members. Various graduate students, researchers, companies, and industry experts have contributed time, money, or both during its creation. Here are a few ways you can help us, if you are interested:

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This information is not a replacement for your healthcare professional. Please read our full disclaimer and terms of use.

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