“Musical Exercise” for people with visual impairments: A preliminary study with the blindfolded
Khan, Ridwan Ahmed
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Performing independent physical exercise is critical to maintain one's good health, but it is specifically hard for people with visual impairments. To address this problem, we have developed a Musical Exercise platform for people with visual impairments so that they can perform exercise in a good form consistently. We designed six different conditions, including blindfolded or visual without audio conditions, and blindfolded or visual with two different types of audio feedback (continuous vs. discrete) conditions. Eighteen sighted participants participated in the experiment, by doing two exercises - squat and wall sit with all six conditions. The results show that Musical Exercise is a usable exercise assistance system without any adverse effect on exercise completion time or perceived workload. Also, the results show that with a specific sound design (i.e., discrete), participants in the blindfolded condition can do exercise as consistently as participants in the non-blindfolded condition. This implies that not all sounds equally work and thus, care is required to refine auditory displays. Potentials and limitations of Musical Exercise and future works are discussed with the results.