How Long Should You Use a VR Headset [Safe Playtime]

Written By Farhan Max

The overuse of VR headsets not only affects the body and eyes but also hampers everyone’s growth in their professional or student lives.

Being a techie myself, I try to be updated with the latest technological innovation. Excess usage of VR headsets also got me, and it harmed me to a huge deal. Eventually, I understood my limit and found an optimum timeframe to use a VR headset.

So, how long should you use a VR headset?

You should use a VR headset for not very long, not more than 30 minutes, with a 15 minutes break afterward, according to a literature review from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in 2020. But there are other opinions too.

If you or any of your family members own a VR, it is essential to know how long anyone should use a VR headset. If you don’t monitor the VR time, you might end up in a bigger problem than you will ever imagine.

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How Long Should You Use VR on

The rapid advancement of technology can both be a blessing and a curse sometimes. Some technology has come from the endless efforts of hundreds and thousands of people.

But there are adverse effects of using those. And the negative effects can be fatal if we fail to take precautions and any caution at all.

Often we see some videos where people are playing in VR fall in the ground. A question might pop up in your head “Why does this happen?”

From farming to riding a rocket, there are an enormous amount of experiences you can have using VR, which could suck you in before you lose track of your time. When you can’t realize how much time has passed, you are using your VR extensively, which can lead to psychological and physical issues.

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So, you need to limit your VR time. But before you limit that, do you know what researchers and VR companies tell you?

The Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy suggested that a user should take 15-minute breaks every half an hour playtime in a governmental literature review.

Snobal, a technology company in the virtual reality and augmented reality platform, says the same.

Some researchers suggest a 15 minutes break in an hour, while some advice not to use a VR more than 1.5 to 2 hours a day with a 15 minutes break in each hour.

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But I suggest you take your VR out for 15 minutes at least after using it for 30 minutes nonstop. Take a moment off, roll your eyes at 360°, repeatedly close and open your eyes, and then roll your eyes closed with the help of your fingertips. It’ll make you feel better.

So, is it bad to play VR every day?

It isn’t bad to play VR every day, and no one can say it for sure. But when you can’t make sure right simulation experience, it can cause damage without your notice. Excessive use of VR every day can damage your eyesight, brain and create loneliness, claustrophobia, and so on.

You can play games in your VR everyday without facing that many problems, just ensuring a little limitation.

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What happens to your body when you’ve been in VR for too long

Excessive of anything is bad for you, me, or anyone else. So if you have used VR for a long time, you may have been developing some problems. No one can say for sure which diseases you will get. But some common diseases are being seen among the people who use VR for too long.

I won’t exaggerate anything regarding using VR. I will talk about a few things that will definitely happen if you use your VR excessively.

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1. Is VR Bad for Your Eyes


VR is bad for your eyes. Using extensive time on VR without any break can damage your eyesight permanently. Eye strain has already been noted as a symptom of cybersickness.

We know the focal power increases or decreases when an object moves closer or further away. When you place your VR headset on, problem arises.

When an object moves, your eyes require a definite focusing distance, and it needs to adjust with the virtual space. You might ask, “Why?”

Well, most HMDs used in VR systems nowadays consists of screens in which the difference between the camera position and the virtual eye position is 50-70mm. So, you have to readapt to your original eye position representation after using your VR.

Thus, the brain receives mismatching signals which result in eye strain. Besides, if you are an excessive user of a VR, there is a massive risk for you of catching heterophoria.

Check out our separate post on how to Focus VR Headset.

2. Is VR Bad for Your Brain


Nauseogenic visual stimuli in VR caused a perpetuation of simple reaction time. As the brain receives and gives signals to the cells and muscles, then you sum up the rest.

One of the most common aftereffects of using VR is a slow reaction in real world. Balance loss is another one too.

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So, why do people fall after using VR?

People fall after using VR as the VR HMDs block out all the visibility of the real world. So, when you take out your VR headset, your brain needs to adjust to the real world. But the mismatching signals on your brain regarding focal length can result in tripping over household objects.

A rearrangement occurs when you finish your gameplay, for which we see instability in posture, eye-hand coordination, and eye-head coordination. So, VR can be bad for your health if you make more than enough use of it.

Excessive VR using can cause some phycological effects. Adverse physiological effects can involve loss of spatial awareness, disorientation, nausea, and other problems like dizziness both in your playtime and following time.

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The introduction of VR headsets has revolutionized the gaming industry to a huge extent. The wave has touched the young generation and made them indulge in the industry like drugs.

Technology may have a more significant impact on developing children and teenagers. So, don’t jump into VR blindly. Play for some time, give rest to your organs, and develop an understanding of how long in VR is too long.

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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