Avoid Motion Sickness |  Comprehensive Guide to Adapt into Virtual Reality

Avoid Motion Sickness | Comprehensive Guide to Adapt 

into Virtual Reality

may 24,2024

In this article, we will review ways your nursing program can reduce motion sickness related to early users in Virtual Reality. 

Understanding Motion Sickness

VR motion sickness, also known as VR sickness or cybersickness, occurs when there is a disconnect between what the eyes see and what the body feels. This mismatch can cause symptoms similar to traditional motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, sweating, and disorientation. Key factors contributing to VR motion sickness include: 

  • Latency and Lag: Delay between the user's physical movements and the corresponding changes in the VR environment.

  • Frame Rate: Low frame rates can cause choppy visuals, exacerbating the feeling of motion sickness.

  • Field of View: A wide or narrow field of view can cause disorientation and discomfort.

  • Visual-Vestibular Mismatch: The conflict between the movement perceived by the eyes and the lack of corresponding movement felt by the body.

  • Inadequate User Movement: Using a controller to move in the VR environment while the body remains stationary can cause confusion in the brain.

  • Poor VR Content Design: Rapid movements, sudden scene changes, and unnatural navigation within VR content can trigger symptoms.

Strategies to Prevent VR Motion Sickness

Gradual Acclimatization 

  • Start Slow: Begin with short sessions (5-10 minutes and gradually increase the duration as users become more comfortable. Simulations are designed to last 20 minutes. 

  • Incremental Exposure: Slowly introduce complex movements and environments to allow the brain to adapt. We suggest doing at least three total sessions with each session lasting 5-10 minutes before attempting to go through an entire 20 minute simulation. For example, the first session you can focus on navigating around the environment. The second session you can interact with objects by picking them up, but remaining stationary. The third session you can do both to create a tolerance for up to 20 minutes per session. 

  • Start Seated: Starting in a seated position for the first few sessions may reduce the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness, losing balance, and falling. 

Environment and Physical Setup

  • Stable Environment: Use VR in a well-lit, stable environment to reduce the risk of physical harm. We recommend to use a stationary boundary if you have limited lab space. 

  • Seated Position: You may perform all simulations seating without sacrificing mobility within the VR environment. Initially, we recommend acclimating in the seated position until the user feels comfortable navigating in the VR environment. 

  • Cool Room Temperature: Ensure the room is cool to prevent overheating, which can exacerbate symptoms. 

Design and Content Considerations 

  • Smooth Navigation: Avoiding sudden movements, rapid accelerations, and decelerations in VR is crucial when being introduced to the environment. Encourage users to move slow the first 3 sessions.  

  • Teleportation over Smooth Movement: Using teleportation for navigation instead of smooth, continuous movement will reduce the visual-vestibular mismatch. 

  • Headset Comfort: Ensure the headset is properly placed on head. The user should not complain of facial discomfort or headaches. If so, the headset needs to be adjusted. Investing in upgraded head straps may reduce the likelihood of discomfort when wearing the headset. 

User Education and Training 

  • Pre-Session Briefing: Educate users about the potential of motion sickness and the strategies previously provided to reduce the likelihood. 

  • Hydration and Breaks: Advise users to stay hydrated and take regular breaks if having to go over 20 minutes total inside the VR headset. 

Share this Article

Subscribe on LinkedIn

Ready to Discover Courseta VR? 

Download the Guide