Virtual reality has not yet been proven to cause cancer in any studies. But it is a very recent technology, and a lot more research is needed on it. Since there is no evidence to back this up we can look at facts that are promising in this regard.
The use of virtual reality creates a habit more quickly. In such a situation where the use of virtual reality becomes addictive, the question arises about the health risks that might occur. Even some people assume that VR causes cancer. Are you supposed to believe this or is it just a myth? Let’s find out.
Learn why it is not possible for your VR headset to give you cancer further in this guide.
Does radiation cause cancer?
Long-term radiation exposure increases the risk of cancer in the human body. Every type of electronic emits electromagnetic radiation. But most of us don’t know there are two types of radiation: ionizing & non-ionizing.
The most dangerous kind of electromagnetic radiation is ionizing radiation, due to its ability to damage DNA, resulting in the formation of cancerous cells.
Unlike ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation does not damage electrons. Therefore, cancer cells cannot form. Devices like mobile phones and VR headsets produce non-ionizing radiation which is pretty much safe for us.
Why Virtual Reality Does Not Cause Cancer
For years now, VR has been available on the market, giving doctors and other professionals plenty of time to gather data. It has not been proven by the medical community yet that virtual reality causes cancer. The reasons for this are pretty obvious.
VR devices are designed to stay close to your eyes and their manufacturers care about their customers’ health. They do not want consumers to get sick or develop cancer because of their products.
It is possible to suffer other health problems if you use VR excessively.
Why do people think VR causes cancer?
There are a plethora of reasons for people to think that VR can give them cancer.
The first reason is the human eye is too close to virtual reality for many people to consider it safe.
There are only two to three inches between the circuitry and screen and the face, eyes, and brain. Considering how close the screens are and how much light they emit, people find that distance frightening.
Another reason is, there is a caution sign on some VR headset boxes that a broken virtual reality headset might cause a serious issue because it contains some specific chemicals, and exposure to those chemicals can promote cancer development.
It is for this reason that there is always a warning sign on the headset box so that you do not use a damaged headset or attempt to repair it. But if your virtual reality headset is not broken, there is no risk of cancer from over-consumption of it.
However, as long as the headset’s body is not broken, it is safe for kids as young as 8 years old.
Apart from cancer other Health Risks of Using Virtual Reality
Although virtual reality hasn’t caused anyone cancer so far, it can cause a variety of health issues for some.
Nausea, Motion Sickness
In virtual reality, the eyes transmit that the person is running and jumping through a dimension, When you’re playing a VR game, your eyes register the movements being simulated around you.
These can be anything from comets whizzing by in virtual space. Your inner ears also sense that virtual movement is happening all around you which leads you toward motion sickness.
To avoid such a situation you can try taking off your VR headset right after you feel dizzy.
In recent years, medical studies have shown that virtual reality can cause symptoms such as dissociation, while anecdotal evidence suggests that prolonged gameplay can lead to social anxiety, isolation, and addiction.
Keep a good relationship with your family and friends, spend quality time with them, and remain focused on the real world, not a virtual world that gives you temporary pleasure.
You can try some VR games for friends & family to make yourself comfortable around them.
In people with photosensitive epilepsy, VR images can trigger a seizure if they flash fast enough. Due to the large field of view, more of the eye is stimulated, which means more of the brain may be affected, which could cause a photosensitive seizure.
Epilepsy patients can enjoy VR in a lot more ways without undergoing anything too intense. Like enjoying beautiful scenery or playing games that are not stressful for the heart and mind.
If VR is used too often by people with heart issues, such as those who have had a heart attack or a major heart surgery, or even those with high blood pressure, it can cause serious health problems.
Studies have shown heart rate increased during the usage of virtual reality and decreased afterward. So it is better for a heart patient to avoid intense games just like epilepsy patients. When using VR, try to sit since standing with the headset on increases heart rate.
But if you’re in good shape, you should play some boxing games to make yourself physically active with sports.
VR boxing is a really good way to workout and there are a lof benefit of playing VR boxing games.
In R headsets, the player is blinded to their actual surroundings, which may cause them to get hit by objects.
Not just getting hit but also unstable movement can cause internal damage. According to a recent study from Oregon State University, some common virtual reality movements can result in muscle strain and discomfort.
Doctors are seeing broken kneecaps, limb fractures, facial injuries, and concussions in emergency rooms. When using VR, it is recommended to choose a room with open space and no obstacles nearby.
Adapt the right practices to limit the effects
To avoid these effects we recommend you to,
- In case of nausea, dizziness, or sweating, stop using virtual reality right away
- Take proper rest because the body makes a great effort to adapt to the virtual world it interacts with, which can lead to fatigue. It is therefore important to let your body and mind take a rest.
- Blue light is particularly damaging to children and adolescents, so there should be no exposure to screens two hours before bedtime.
Health benefits of using VR
We have discussed health risks associated with virtual reality so far, but it is also possible to improve our health through VR.
In 2020, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) published a review of studies evaluating VR exercise. Physical fitness, muscle strength, and balance were all improved through VR workouts.
A number of studies have shown that VR therapy can help treat phobias. Although VR therapy does not completely cure fear or phobia, it helps reduce it.
Some people prefer playing VR games to lose weight in a very fun way.
Just as every coin has two sides, the electronic devices we use for our recreation, have both positive and negative aspects depending on how we use them and how much time we devote to them.
Despite its minor health risks, VR does not appear to promote cancer based on medical studies. So we can say you can use virtual reality without being worried.
Here are some fitness tips regarding VR games to lose weight and keeping yourself in good shape through VR.