Date of Graduation

Fall 2017


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Computer Science


Computer Science

Committee Chair

Lloyd Smith


virtual reality, sitting, balance, benefits, drawbacks, core strength, occupational therapy, physical therapy

Subject Categories

Computer Sciences | Graphics and Human Computer Interfaces | Medicine and Health Sciences | Occupational Therapy | Physical Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy


This thesis focuses on using virtual reality (VR) to enhance sitting balance and core strength. It is a study in how to create a VR exercise program which is interesting enough to keep players/patients motivated, but comfortable to play and not overwhelming to the senses. The software used for this study was written with the hope that a later version of it might be used with occupational/physical therapy patients one day. For this master’s thesis, the initial testing has been done with healthy volunteers. The software incorporates what developers know thus far about designing for VR, and it is hoped that later software developers will benefit from knowing the results of this initial round of testing. All of the 39 test participants agreed that the game was fun, with 82% indicating “strongly agree” in the questionnaire. The enthusiastic responses indicate that the game probably has recreational value beyond therapy patients.


© Alice Kay Barnes

Open Access