Imagine that you are playing your favorite console video game. After a long, busy day, you finally got a chance to sit down and unwind. You load your saved game, accept your new mission, and get to work blasting, fighting, and exploring. The world isn’t going to save itself! It’s all up to you.
Moments later, your spouse comes into the room and reminds you that you have to wake up early tomorrow. It’s time to put the controller down and walk away.
“Just five more minutes,” you reply.
Ha! That’s been promised many times before, and your spouse can be forgiven if they don’t take you seriously. Five minutes? That will turn into two more hours before you know it. Time flies when you’re having fun! Your big yawns and sleepy eyes will give you away tomorrow as you slog through another long, busy day.
Now imagine that you are on a treadmill at Planet Fitness. You are proud of yourself because you made it to the gym two days in a row! Is that a new record? You aren’t sure, actually. Your fat loss goals require you to either stop eating altogether or spend hours a week doing some type of calorie-burning exercise. You chose the healthier option.
It feels like you’ve been on this stupid contraption forever! You look down and see that there is still time left on the clock.
“Just five more minutes,” you think to yourself.
You look back up at the TV that’s in front of you and five minutes later look down at the timer. What the heck? It’s only been 35 seconds! How does five minutes feel like hours? Maybe being out of shape isn’t so bad.
It’s the same phrase, but we know that “just five more minutes” means something drastically different in these two contexts. Why?
It’s not just in physics that time is relative. Psychologically, we perceive the passage of time very differently in different situations. Scientists have found that many factors can make time speed up or slow down.
It turns out that it mostly depends on how immersed you are into what you are doing and how much is at stake. When you are relentlessly focused on a task or activity, your brain perceives time as going by much more quickly. “Flow Theory” describes the feeling of being “in the zone.”
So what creates a flow state? From Wikipedia:
“Researchers have identified the following factors as encompassing an experience of flow:
- Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- Merging of action and awareness
- A loss of reflective self-consciousness
- A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
- A distortion of temporal experience, one’s subjective experience of time is altered
- Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding also referred to as autotelic experience
- Immediate feedback
- Feeling the potential to succeed
- Feeling so engrossed in the experience, that other needs become negligible
Those aspects can appear independently of each other, but only in combination do they constitute a so-called flow experience.”
This list perfectly describes a best-selling video game.
What’s the opposite of flow? Boredom. Boredom is an emotional state where a person is not interested in their surroundings, finds their current activity tedious or repetitive, or is left without anything to do. You can also become bored when the mental task you are taking on is too easy and doesn’t present a challenge.
Exercise, by its nature, is tedious and time-consuming. It’s something you have to repeat many times per week for the rest of your life. There are only so many ways to make it more pleasant. Even the biggest exercise-loving freaks occasionally get bored and skip their workouts. Missing your workouts leads to missing your fitness goals.
Black Box VR was created to take advantage of the immersive qualities of video games and virtual reality. For the first time in history, you can go inside an action-packed game environment and use your body as the controller. Becoming addicted to your fitness program is finally possible, making it easy to achieve the body of your dreams.
Our members consistently tell us that their intense, 30-minute workout battle felt like it was much shorter than it actually was. They look up at the scoreboard and see that the time is up, and it’s time to leave the Arena. “Can’t I have just five more minutes!?”