04:43 GMT25 January 2021
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    As many gym-bunnies know it can be a monotonous business working out to stay in shape - especially when compared to flexing your muscles in a bar-room brawl.

    Trying to get into shape can be a tedious and laborious affair involving long hours working out in the gym, more so when you could be testing your strength in a full-on pub brawl.

    Now experts are predicting the way many of us exercise in the future is going to change dramatically thanks to the introduction of virtual reality games aimed at encouraging people to work up a sweat differently.

    This technology is already becoming available in many fitness centers in a bid to inspire people instead of facing the daily grind or weekly fitness session.

    High-energy games such as Drunkn Bar Fight, where players down virtual beers in a seedy bar before a fight breaks out are becoming increasingly popular as a way of getting fit among people who have already invested in their own VR headsets.

    One California-based gamer claims he has already lost 50 pounds in five months while playing Soundboxing, which involves players to punch objects as they fly towards them.

    Fitness experts insist also that playing these games offer a good, if not better, work out than traditional gym sessions — and are far more energetic and interesting at the same time.

    Billion Dollar 'Game-Changer'

    Olivier Zitvogel, chief executive officer and founder of Holodia, believes digital technology and virtual headsets will revolutionize the way we exercise in the future.

    "Virtual reality is poised to disrupt many industries, it is a technology game-changer with the potential to transform human behavior and the fitness industry, the way we do fitness," he said in a study published in July.

    Daniel Mestre, senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, who also took part in the project, said: "Coupling exercise to virtual reality results in a more enjoyable experience by contextualizing the exercise. It notably distracts the participant from exercise-induced pain."

    Virtual reality has already seen its first billion dollar year in 2016, with sales in hardware reaching US$700 million and content US$300 million. VR and AR (augmented reality) market research group Greenlight Insights forecasts industry revenues will reach US$7.2 billion globally by the end of 2017.

    This market is expected to grow to US$33.90 billion by 2022, primarily driven by its adoption in gaming and virtual reality in more areas such as medicine, education, military, fashion and entertainment.

    It is also expected to boost the fitness industry in Britain — presently worth £4 billion (US$5.37 billion) — by nearly 1.5 percent over the next decade.

    While gym membership has been stagnant in the last year, many fitness centers are gearing up for a fresh influx of interest as they offer clients virtual reality work-out sessions.


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