5 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing Video Games
5 surprising health benefits of gaming
According to the Office for National Statistics, men enjoy 40 minutes of extra leisure time against the fairer sex. But, how can you weaponise that time when it comes to bettering your health?
40 minutes of meditation? How about a gaming session? The benefits of the latter, as explained below, can be myriad. Game on.
1. Gaming will boost your memory (if you pick the right platform)
A varied diet is also beneficial in your games collection. Molecular Psychiatry published a paper outlining how platformers, like the Mario games, can increase the brain’s capacity for spatial navigation, strategic planning and working memory. Tetris, meanwhile, has been shown to reduce food and drug cravings, reduce PTSD flashbacks and increase brain growth.
(Related: How to boost your IQ by 17 points in one week)
2. Gaming will level up your eyes
Despite what all parents say, games can be good for your eyes. Those who played first-person shooters for five hours per week were found by the University of Rochester to have a greater ability to pick out fine details among clutter and to distinguish among greys, than non-players. So next time you’re driving in fog, thankCall Of Duty.
3. Gaming will power-up your brain
If you play regularly, but don’t exceed five hours of FPS a week, your brain will become more efficiently developed in three areas – the parietal lobe, frontal lobe and anterior cingulate – that deal with your attention functions, according to a study in the journalVision Research. You will also increase your ability to switch between tasks when multitasking, says Bavelier.
4. Gaming presses start on your good moods
Even a bus-journey burst of a most basic game can do you good. An East Carolina University study found that 30 minutes a day of casual games – of the Candy Crush Saga type, with simple rules and short levels – alleviated depression and anxiety. But set your phone’s alarm: completing game tasks causes rewarded brains to want more rewards. Which is where missed stops and all-nighters come in.
(Related: 6 reasons why people who exercise are happier people)
5. Gaming has the same benefits as wine (sort of)
To get the most from games, says neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier, we need to think of them like wine: the right amount at the right time is beneficial. A nice glass of Grand Cru Theft Auto, according to her research, would be 40 minutes per day, and not immediately before bed. Remember: drinking wine while playing games is a danger to every pale-coloured carpet and rug.
Video: Your brain on video games | Daphne Bavelier
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