Video Gaming is Fun but is it good for Your Health?

With technological advancements, game developers are creating new content and churning out new games almost every other day. From strategy games to action-packaged shooters and role-playing games, there has never been a dearth of game options to explore. Without a doubt, video gaming is exhilarating and fun.

However, what are the health implications for your health? Do they have benefits or downsides that can affect your well-being differently? Over the years, several studies have been carried out to check the health impact of video games.

Many positive effects of playing video games have been found and some negative effects have also been discovered. In this post, we will cover both outlooks and how to create a balance for optimal health while playing video games.

Positive Effects of Video Games on Health

According to studies, there are several positive effects of video gaming on health. From problem-solving to better memory, social skills, and improved mood, playing video games come with numerous cognitive, physical, and social benefits. Let us look at three important areas that playing video games affect positively.

  • Mental Health

Video games have significant positive effects on mental health. According to studies, video game players are found to be more mentally sound than non-video game players. Additionally, video games are reported to contribute to the reduction of emotional disturbance and heightened emotional stability in children.

Video games have also been found to be a great source of stress reduction and relaxation for regular gamers. They are also reported to be highly beneficial for the reduction of the depressed mood of players when compared to those who do not play video games.

  • Physical Activities

It is interesting to find studies that reveal that video games are a great form of physical activity and well-suited for physiotherapy for many. Video games are found to be helpful in the treatment of arm injuries.

They are also used as a technique for occupational therapy to improve hand strength. These benefits have been found in several adults, such as people with muscular dystrophy and wheelchair users.

A lot of players enjoy smoking cannabis from a pipe while they play and you can often times find a bong on the table when someone is playing the newest game..

  • Cognitive Benefits

The positive effects of video gaming on cognitive abilities were first discovered in the late 80s when individuals playing commercial games reported an increase in their cognitive skills. More studies have been performed to look into the relationships between cognitive activity and video games among people.

The studies have shown consistent discoveries of young adults that play video games perform better on different cognitive tests of mental and perceptual ability than non-players. The studies also revealed that video game players have higher IQs than non-players.

Awareness Level

Studies in this area also revealed that players of video games have better improvements in different kinds of attention requirements. These include selective and sustained attention. Research also showed that the brain regions associated with attention get more efficient for video game players than non-players.

Studies also indicated that playing video games can change or affect several brain regions. Additionally, playing these games has also been found to not only alter the performance of the brain but also its structure.

Negative Effects of Playing Video Games on Health

While there are several health benefits associated with playing video games, including some that are not mentioned above, we cannot undermine the negative effects. Several studies and statistics have also revealed that video games can have negative effects on people’s health.

Some of these effects include addiction, obesity, and violence. However, it is worth mentioning that the effects vary from one person to the other. Let’s look at these negative effects one after the other.

  • Violence

This is one of the major negative effects linked to video games. While violence is sometimes labeled on some video games, some are not labeled and it is until gamers get into the game that they discover the content.

Without a doubt, exposure to violence can have negative effects on the mental health of players. As a fact, exposure to violence in video games has been associated with aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and pro-social behaviors.

  • Social Isolation

Playing too many video games makes children socially isolate themselves. They spend more time playing games than in other social activities, such as interacting with friends and family and sports. They also spend less time doing homework and reading.

Spending too much time alone playing games and participating in fewer social activities can result in depression. Some studies have also shown that players that depend on navigational habits instead of active learning while playing can have higher risks of different illnesses, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and PTSD.

  • General Poor Health

Video games have also been associated with some negative effects on health, especially among children. These health issues include eye strain, video-induced seizures, and headaches. Playing video games has also been associated with obesity among teenagers.

Since they sit in front of the screen for hours without getting any form of exercise, they are prone to add more weight. They also tend to consume more food while playing, which ultimately leads to obesity.

Excessive video gaming can also result in skeletal, muscular, and postural disorders, including nerve compression, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also cause repeated use of tendons and muscles, which can cause inflammation and pain.

How to Balance the Positive and Negative Effects of Playing Video Games

Moderation is the keyword for balancing the effects of video gaming. Instead of spending hours on end stuck to your screen and playing games, you can get off the couch and engage in other activities.

This is where discipline is required. The best way to achieve this is to create a routine. Have a specific time in the day when you play games to enable you to have time for other academic, career, and social activities.

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