Get into nature – virtually!

Posted on: 5 July 2018 | By: Alex Smalley

BlueHealth is calling for members of the public to help study the effects of Virtual Reality on health.

Spending time in nature can be good for health and wellbeing. But for many people it can sometimes be hard to access ‘real’ natural environments on a regular basis.

In one of the first studies of its kind, BlueHealth researchers are using state-of-the-art virtual reality technology to overcome this problem, and recreate the experience of being in nature.

In order to examine the health effects of this ‘digital immersion’, they are asking the public to take part and share feedback on their experiences.



Participants will view scenes of ‘virtual nature’ using different types of technology and be asked to complete a short questionnaire, memory test and short informal interview.

Nicky Yeo is the PhD Researcher running the study, and wants as many people as possible to sign up. She said:

We know that a walk in the countryside or a stroll on the beach can benefit a person’s mental health, but for those in hospital or long term care, getting outdoors can be really tough. We think that Virtual Reality might allow us to provide a realistic and cost-effective substitute, and we’d love a wide range of people to come in and try out the technology.”

Volunteers will need to allow about an hour for their session, which will be conducted at the Knowledge Spa on the Royal Cornwall Hospital’s Treliske site. The study is taking place until August 2018 and expenses will be reimbursed for travel within Cornwall. You need to be aged 18 or over to take part.

If you would like to find out more and sign up, please get in touch with Nicky directly on or visit the link below for more information: