There are many reasons why you might find yourself playing video games. Maybe you’re spending more time at home recovering after experiencing a slip and fall accident, or maybe you got laid off due to the coronavirus and you’re social distancing at home with nowhere to go. It could also be that you just enjoy playing video games, so you play them a lot in your spare time!
If you play a lot of video games, you have probably heard how bad they can be for your health. It wasn’t that long ago that many were saying video games were making kids more violent and they were contributing to the obesity epidemic.
As it turns out, video games aren’t all that bad. As a matter of fact, they can be very good for your health!
They Can Improve Your Eyesight
Ever have a parent tell you to stop playing video games because you’re going to hurt your eyes? They may have been wrong! The opposite can actually be true—playing video games can improve your eyesight.
However, all games aren’t created equal. Eye strain can be common among gamers who play creativity-based games, like Sims or Minecraft, but studies have shown that first-person shooter games can actually improve contrast sensitivity function. These kinds of gamers can more easily discern between shades of gray and colors, which can be very beneficial when driving at night.
That’s not all! Many games can also improve hand-eye coordination. Surgeons are actually required to perform virtual surgeries before doing the real thing because it’s such a good way to improve hand-eye coordination!
They Can Help You Build Meaningful Connections With Others
The stereotype of gamers as loners is no longer accurate. Although most gamers play alone in their homes, they use headsets and the internet, which enables them to connect with other players all over the world.
Many gamers play with the same people on a daily basis. They connect over the love of the same game, but they build stronger, longer-lasting connections in the process. Gaming has the ability to ease loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. It is an especially effective way for teens, who otherwise feel like they don’t fit in at school, to find friends with similar interests.
They Have the Potential to Treat Depression
Not only can playing games help ease loneliness, but they also have the potential to treat depression. Specific video games have been developed just for the treatment of depression that has been shown to be effective, especially for adolescents. However, it doesn’t necessarily take a special depression treatment program to ease the symptoms of this mental illness.
Some studies have shown that even action video games can reduce symptoms of depression by reducing rumination and increasing both subjective and objective cognition. Not to mention, it can provide an escape for depressed patients, helping them to forget about their troubles for a while.
They Can Keep You Physically Active
It’s true that there are a lot of games out there that can encourage you to sit on the couch for hours at a time, but not all video games are created equal. You can also find video games that can keep you active.
There are a lot of fitness games that can provide you with some of the other benefits of gaming on this list, but they will also get you up out of your chair too! Some of the best fitness games include:
· Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch
· Beat Saber for Play Station 4 and PC
· Wii Fit Plus for the Wii
· Just Dance 2020 for multiple platforms
They Can Slow Down the Aging Process
Aging can come with many different health problems. Surprisingly, some of those issues can be avoided if you play video games! Our bodies can become stiff and less flexible as we age, but so can our brains. Playing games can help engage the brains of seniors, preventing mild cognitive impairments, with the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
It doesn’t take a lot of time in front of the TV either. After just 10 hours, the mental decline in seniors can be slowed by several years.
Gaming is no longer considered a terrible way to pass the time. It turns out, there are many ways it can engage both your brain and your body, helping you to increase and maintain both your physical and mental health throughout your lifetime.