Some people love going to the gym. They thrive on having other people around them, and enjoy having a dedicated place to go to exercise. For others, going to the gym is stressful. Finding time to drive, park, and navigate a large fitness center is difficult. Many people also find it intimidating to work out with lots of people around – especially if they’re worried about being judged.
Researchers from Indiana University wanted to find out if people would find the same level of success if exercised with a virtual platform from their homes, as compared to going to traditional gym to work out. They studied women, mostly in their mid 30s and mid 40s, for 12 weeks. One group worked out at a gym, and the other worked out solely at home with the virtual support.
At the end of the study, the researchers found the two groups lost about the same amount of weight regardless of where they worked out. Their findings showed that those who prefer to workout virtually can get just as good results as those going to a gym.
Beyond the equal weight loss success of the groups, those exercising with a virtual platform saw even more benefit. The virtual group reported overall positive changes in health including better eating habits and better physical fitness. These same benefits were not seen in the group that worked out at a traditional gym.
The study authors said, “The virtual world program was at least as beneficial as the face-to-face program and in some ways, more effective. It has the potential to reach people who normally wouldn’t go to a gym or join a program because of limitations, such as time or discomfort with a fitness center environment.” At Virtual Health Partners we’re happy to see this research which validates the benefit of offering people the ability to find weight loss and health support options online.
Visit virtualhealthpartners.com to learn more about our virtual platform, which offers individualized nutrition, fitness, and behavioral health.