Most of us probably know that gaming can be a bit addicting, but is it actually bad for you? In this article, we discuss everything from the physical effects of gaming to the mental effects of gaming.
However, is gaming really bad for your health? Let’s take a look at some of the potential dangers and benefits of playing video games.
If you are like most people, you probably spend most of your time doing something that you enjoy. You may enjoy watching movies or television, playing video games, reading, gardening, or spending time with your friends and family.
If you spend more time engaged in these activities than you should, it’s time to take stock of your life. Are you spending enough time doing something you enjoy? Are you spending too much time doing something you dislike?
While it is true that there are benefits associated with being a part of the electronic entertainment industry, including the financial rewards and the freedom to travel to work at any time, it’s important to understand the downsides of gaming.
Health Risks Associated with Gaming
There are a number of health risks associated with excessive gaming, including:
Stress is a known health risk for many individuals.
When you are stressed, you are less productive and are prone to a wide variety of health issues.
Many people who work long hours to earn a living also spend a significant portion of their spare time playing video games or surfing the web. This type of lifestyle can create a stressful situation for the individual.
• Excessive Computer Time
You may be surprised to learn that even those who play video games for fun actually spend more time interacting with a computer screen than they spend playing the actual video game.
Although the internet has made it possible to connect to others across the globe in a matter of seconds, most individuals find it difficult to focus on their studies or their work when a game is loaded on the computer.
In addition, the majority of the time spent playing games is not productive. For example, according to a recent study conducted by Microsoft, only 15% of Americans play their favorite video game for more than three hours per week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity among adults and children has risen dramatically over the past 40 years.
One of the primary reasons for this is the sedentary nature of modern society. Because children spend more time watching television and using the internet, many parents feel pressured to allow their children to do so.
Children are often encouraged to watch television, play video games, surf the internet, and spend time on their phones, despite the fact that these activities are likely to lead to obesity and other health problems.
• Heart Disease
A sedentary lifestyle coupled with stress puts a person at an increased risk of heart disease.
Heart disease has become a leading cause of death in the United States. According to the CDC, in 2013, over 450,000 Americans died of heart disease.
• Depression and Anxiety
A lack of exercise combined with excessive screen time and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to anxiety and depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 21 million Americans suffer from some type of mental disorder, including mild anxiety, major depression, and bipolar disorder.
Those who spend a considerable amount of time in front of a computer or a TV are more likely to develop dementia.
Dementia is a form of brain dysfunction that interferes with a person’s ability to think, remember, communicate, and carry out daily tasks.
Dementia is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and the number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing every year.
Those who spend excessive amounts of time interacting with a computer or watching television are more likely to develop a stroke.
According to the CDC, there were nearly 795,000 strokes in the U.S. in 2016.
Individuals who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for diabetes.
Diabetes is a common chronic illness that can be controlled through diet and regular physical activity. However, approximately 30% of Americans are diagnosed with some form of type 2 diabetes.
• Eye Problems
A lack of exercise and poor sleep habits can lead to eye problems.
There are two main causes of eye problems:
• The constant use of computers and smartphones for long periods of time can cause headaches.
• A lack of sleep can cause eyestrain and blurred vision.
In addition to the physical effects, many people report that they experience emotional effects from time spent engaging in video games and internet activities.
Benefits of Playing Video Games
A lot of people assume that video games are simply a way for people to pass the time. They’re certainly not a replacement for exercise, but there are plenty of benefits to playing video games .
For starters, video games are a great way to keep you physically fit. According to a study, playing action, sports, or shooting games for at least 15 minutes a day can reduce the chances of dying by 12 percent.
In addition, playing video games can help you master something new. For example, learning how to play guitar requires practice. However, don’t have to actually spend time trying to learn. Instead, all you have to do is press a button and you’ll be able to master the game in no time.
Playing video games also helps you with problem-solving, according to a report published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. The report cites several studies on the effects of gaming on problem-solving abilities and argues that this is a huge benefit of playing video games.
Finally, games can teach you about yourself. When you play games, you’re also gaining insight into your own capabilities and weaknesses.