Correlation between selected gait variables and emotion using virtual reality

  • Young Kim
  • JunYoung Moon
  • Nak-Jun Sung
  • Min HongEmail author
Original Research


Gait pattern and its characteristics can change according to the person’s emotional state. We implemented a data collection system that analyzes the relationship between gait and emotional state by using Virtual Reality (VR) environment and a mat-type pressure sensor equipped with 1008 sensors. Twelve healthy young adults (6 F, 6 M) in their 20 s participated in this study and randomly watched 3 different types of videos containing calming, sad, and joyful scenes that were presented in 3D formats with 360° angle. Modified Differential Emotion Scale (m-DES) was used by the subjects to self-report their current emotion before and after watching each set of the videos, and their real-time gait patterns captured by the mat sensor were analyzed. For gait pattern analysis, stepcount per minute, gait speed per minute, plantar pressure distribution (p1–p8), and peak plantar pressure were compared between conditions. The results showed that both step count and gait speed significantly increased in joyful state compared to those of calm and sad emotional states, and were decreased the most in sad state. High correlation was found between joyful emotion and faster gait speed, as well as higher plantar pressure in the forefoot. Plantar pressure distribution and its high peaks showed to be weighted in the 1st and 2nd metatarsal area in joyful state, and more concentrated in the heel area in sad state. Gait patterns in calm emotional state were not significantly differentiated. VR can be an useful tool to self-manage negative emotions as well as to help increase physical activities for depressive and cheerless individuals.


Wellness technology Gait analysis Emotional state Virtual reality 



This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2015M3A9D7067388) and was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young Kim
    • 1
  • JunYoung Moon
    • 2
  • Nak-Jun Sung
    • 2
  • Min Hong
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Wellness Coaching Service Research CenterSoonchunhyang UniversityAsanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceSoonchunhyang UniversityAsanRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Computer Software EngineeringSoonchunhyang UniversityAsanRepublic of Korea

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