Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Exercise in Second Life!

Okay…so I just read an article about a study that the University of Houston is conducting in real life on Second Life. Do have a look at the article…I encourage it! To summarize….they are doing a study to encourage real life (RL) people to develop healthier eating habits and healthier exercise habits. How, you might ask? The avatars will participate in SL by choosing fruits and veggies (versus that terribly fattening pixel doughnut) and…better yet, the avatars will be exercising on SL treadmills. I calculated that if you exercise on a SL treadmill, it will burn approximately 9 calories per hour. Upon further calculation, typing for an hour will burn approximately 32 calories. Cyber-sex …well…the statisticians are still trying to figure that one out!!! (I suspect they are having WAY too much fun with their research to EVER give us an answer! ) You might be wondering…. how are the researchers motivating these avatars to participate? The Texan research team will reward the avatar with lindens…for walking on a treadmill, riding a bike and for trying new ‘good for you’ foods. Oh…and as a bonus…the participants will also get the opportunity to compete as a team where they will earn points for their behavior. ( Sounds like ‘Big Brother’ meets ‘The Biggest Loser’ to me) . I have to say…I am a bit skeptical. How in the world...this world or any other world for that matter.... are the researchers EVER going to be able to get a TRUE reading on the results? I suppose they are counting on the people who participate to be 100% honest. ( Hmmmmm.. .that’s a whole other study in and of itself). I find it all very well-meaning but very misdirected. After all, let’s think this through. I am not an expert, but I am willing to bet ALL my lindens, that exercising in RL beats the pants off exercising in SL….well…as far as calorie burning goes any way!!! My real question in all of this is this: if I have 4 RL doughnuts and eat 7 servings of SL fruits and veggies plus ride my bike for 1 hour and spend another 30 minutes on the SL treadmill…and do that EVERY day for one week…will I truly lose weight….or just perspective? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! Comment, barbs, insults….all welcome! Hugs and kisses….as always…Alexxa


  1. At least there is lindens to be won. I am not obese so I wont qualify.

    Maybe seeing your av eating healthy stuff and exercising will motivate one to adopt healthy habits/healthy lifestyle. Whether one can ultimatlely lose weight cos of this - I dont think so.

  2. Thanks for the comment redice! I wonder....how many people will say they are obese...just to get lindens? :-))