Though gaming is undeniably fun, and there is surely a video game for everyone, most people would not try to claim that gaming is healthy or self-improving. However, recently, empirical evidence has suggested that gaming can be just that. So, how exactly can gaming be good for your health?
Gaming can help you de-stress. Research suggests that gaming can reduce anxiety, can promote a sense of well-being and can help build social connections. Playing video games can also provide catharsis during stressful events. All of these things are markers of health and longevity, as research shows for example that those with more profound social connections tend to live longer.
Gaming can improve cognitive health. Video games are shown to strengthen and increase grey matter in certain brain areas, for example, those associated with attention, spatial awareness and planning. As well as this, there are a host of other cognitive benefits to gaming, for example in supporting memory.
Gaming can aid recovery. Gaming has been used in therapy to treat and alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s, and it has been shown to quicken recovery in those who have recently undergone surgery.
Gaming can improve your eye health. Though your mother probably told you the opposite, research conducted on those with ‘lazy eyes’ found that playing video games can actually strengthen this eye and improve hand-eye coordination and color vision.
Gaming can improve heart health. Exergaming (games in which you use your body as the controller. Think Wii Fit) can give you a workout and can be so much fun. This is one of the reasons why the stereotype of the gamer as a couch potato is so wide of the mark.
Listing the benefits of gaming in the way that we have just done makes it seem like we think that gaming is a miracle cure, a catch-all solution for all of life problems. It is not that. It is just fun. And the fact that it is good for you is a happy bonus.
To find out more about the health benefits of gaming see the infographic below provided by our partners at Computer Planet.