Video games have been around since the 1970s and have been growing in popularity across a variety of mobile and other digital device platforms. Advances, especially on mobile devices, have led to group gaming and social networking.
Although the game does not necessitate physical endurance and therefore is not restricted by factors such as gender, fitness levels, or age, it is most popular among young people. This makes it a prevalent hobby and activity as well.
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How Does Gaming Affect Your Health?
However, while gaming can be a good distraction or an activity to pass the time, it is important to recognize its harms as well.
The development of computers and electronic games poses a serious threat to young people and adolescents and can lead to depression and mental disorders in these groups.
Children used to play with other children, but today they spend most of their time playing computer games once they understand and get to know them, and these games fail to create a human and emotional connection.
Is there any benefit to it?
Before we discuss the disadvantages of video gaming, it is fair to mention the advantages. In addition to being fun and entertaining, games can allow people to engage with each other, in a virtual setting, as the games often require a team effort. It will not be wrong to say that our society today is undergoing a loneliness epidemic.
In that case, gaming can be a way to bond with other people, including those who are otherwise difficult to connect with, such as children, and grandchildren, especially those suffering from autism who may have trouble with customary means of interaction.
Several researchers have stated that gaming has some rational benefits, such as better attention control and better spatial reasoning, although it is not entirely clear to what extent these benefits apply beyond the realm of video games to the practical world.
Lastly, video games have several uses in the field of medicine, such as teaching people with deteriorating diseases to progress their sense of balance, helping teenagers with ADHD expand their rational skills, or teaching surgeons how to perform technically complex surgeries.
The Negative Impact of Gaming
Injuries from Gaming
Monotonous sprain or overuse injury is caused by activities that repeatedly strain muscles and tendons until they are subject to inflammation and pain. If these injuries persist and develop further, weakness and numbness can occur, as well as permanent damage. Hand and forearm injuries are common among players.
A famous, commonly occurring injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which many players experience. Carpal tunnel condition, common among people working in offices, consists of inflammation of a nerve in the wrist, causing numbness and pain.
Gaming is also linked to obesity in teenagers, and the same is likely to happen in adults if research is conducted. This is due to the understandable occurrence that a teenager who sits in front of a screen for hours daily does not move much. It is also believed that obesity results from increased food intake during video games.
The projected mechanisms are that either the cues indicating fullness are reduced, or that the mental stress associated with playing video games triggers reward centers, leading to amplified food intake.
Online or video gaming has also been linked to mental health issues. It remains a debatable question whether Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) is a distinctive condition. Constantly playing online games is not enough to be considered a disease. Instead, mental illness develops when gamers play online games for an extended time to the point where it interferes with their daily lives.
Thus, gaming disorders are a “pattern of repetitive or prolonged gaming activity” that causes players to get lost in their gaming activities and prioritize it over all other behaviors and interests, so they continue to gamble despite the undesirable penalties. Such consequences can be obstacles in socializing as well as in academic and familiar relationships.
In normal players, persistent lethargy, unhappiness, or listlessness can be indicative of a gaming problem. Depressive symptoms are more pronounced when they refrain from playing, that is, in the withdrawal phase. Video games are associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety.
However, association does not essentially indicate interconnection. Unhappy or depressed people are attracted to video games because they help to subdue adverse emotions. They develop a habit of gaming that makes them rigid in life. Ultimately, of course, they are unhappy.
As is the case with many events that have potential pros and cons, equability is key. Most gaming-related injuries can be corrected, if not completely avoided; by limiting the hours, you spend looking at the screens and taking part in health-inducing activities such as being social in the real world, rather than indoors in the virtual one.
Education is an imperative key to preventing injuries. Players must be trained to protect their wrists, elbows, thumbs, eyes, sleep schedules, and emotional health. Simple instructions for resting, stretching, healthy snacking, resting, and ice on the elbow, thumb, or wrist, when it starts to hurt, can heal injuries before they turn into something serious.
If you feel like you are experiencing the indications of gaming addiction, the best place to start is by admitting that you have a problem. Although overpowering gaming addiction takes time and great dedication, the reward is a return back to the real world. Consider all the opportunities and improvements that would happen if you removed the harmful effects of gaming from your life.
In short, playing video games can be an entertaining social activity if integrated into a healthy lifestyle that includes sufficient exercise, sleep, and proper nutrition rather than letting the game overtake your life.
Well, that’s all we have here about the effects of gaming on health. Make sure to check out the effects of gaming on brain if you need more information.