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Am. J. Biomed. Sci. 2020,12(2),107-121;doi:10.5099/aj200200107
Received:17 February 2020; | Revised:11 March 2020; | Accepted:04 June 2020


Effects of Age, Gender, Familiarity with the Content, and Exposure Time on Cybersickness in Immersive Head-mounted Display Based Virtual Reality


Katharina Petri*, Kuno Feuerstein, Svea Folster, Florian Bariszlovich, Kerstin Witte

Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Institute III: Sports Science, Department of Sports Engineering and Movement Science, Germany

*Corresponding Author

Katharina Petri

Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg

Institute III: Sports Science, Department of Sports Engineering and Movement Science


Email: katharina.petri@ovgu.de



Although several studies have been conducted in the field of cybersickness, triggering factors have not been conclusively identified. We performed two cross-sectional studies on cybersickness, in which seated participants watched karate specific content in a virtual reality (VR) app with a head-mounted display. We analyzed the effects of the factors age (three age levels), familiarity with the content / expertise (karatekas, non-karatekas), gender and exposure time (analysis over 10 and 20 minutes stay in VR) using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire, biofeedback (parameters: skin conductance and heart rate) and verbal reports of estimated symptoms. All analyzed factors had an effect on cybersickness. We observed that adults over 60 years and participants who are not familiar with the sports specific content (here non-karatekas) are more prone to cybersickness with exposure times of 20 minutes compared to 10 minutes. We detected a significant gender difference in the verbal estimation of cybersickness as women had more problems, while men had no symptoms at all. A duration of 10 minutes in VR is bearable in all analyzed groups. For healthy men and persons being familiar with the content shown, 20 minutes are also doable. However, all detected symptoms were only moderate and no dropout occurred.


Keywords:Virtual environment, Virtual reality app, Head-mounted display, Biofeedback, Simulator sickness questionnaire


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