Sports Med Rehabil J | Volume 6, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Comparison of Balance Between Two Identical Environments, Real vs. Virtual, and Perspective in Rehabilitation

Piette P1*, Le Blong E1 , Gilliaux M2, Collet M2, Cavagna R3, Fraudet B1 and Gallien P1

1Department of Clinical Research, Pole St Helier, Rehabilitation Centre, France
2Hospital la Musse, France
3Artefacto 2 Route du Gacet, France

*Correspondance to: Patrice Piette 

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Background: Immersive virtual reality solutions are seeing increasing usage in functional rehabilitation programs. However, there is no reference that allows us to confirm that these environments present the same characteristics and therefore the same degree of safety and training in postural responses for balance.
Aim: The aim of the study was to compare displacements from center of gravity (distance covered and surface used) in balance tests, comparing the real situation to an identical virtual situation.
Participants: 70 healthy subjects aged between 18 and 65 were recruited in two centers. Setting: The study used a one-way repeated-measures design with randomization of the order in which the two test conditions were performed.
Method: The first test condition was "real", taking place in a bedroom of a treatment center apartment, and the second was virtual, with the room reproduced and seen through an HMD. For each condition, two static tests (left leg, right leg) and two dynamic tests (left and right) were performed. Each test included three attempts. Outcome measures: The displacement from the center of gravity was recorded on a force plate.
Result: Sixty-Nine participants completed all of the tests and were analyzed. None of the tests resulted in confirmation that the virtual was equivalent to the real (Two One-Sided Tests for left static, right static, left dynamic, right dynamic; surface respectively p=0.592, p=0.151, p=0.238, p=0.503; distance respectively p=1.00, p=0.91, p=0.0742, p=1.00). Furthermore 6 tests of out 8 showed a significant and considerable difference (surface respectively p=0.00249, p=0.0664, p=0.0318, p=0.00483; distance respectively p=1.12 × 10-8, p=5.27 × 10-5, p=0.153, p=2.55 × 10-9).
Conclusion: Postural responses were poorer in the immersive virtual environment, both on the static and dynamic balance tests.
Clinical rehabilitation impact: The offer of balance rehabilitation in immersive VR raises safety issues and consequently ethical issues that are as yet unresolved. Researchers must test solutions to correct this serious problem.


Virtual reality; Balance; Centre of pressure; Security; Tele-rehabilitation


Piette P, Le Blong E, Gilliaux M, Collet M, Cavagna R, Fraudet B, et al. Comparison of Balance Between Two Identical Environments, Real vs. Virtual, and Perspective in Rehabilitation. Sports Med Rehabil J. 2023; 6(1): 1054..

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