Video games have always been frowned upon when it comes to their impact on health and fitness. What good can children spending hours on the couch playing these video games can bring to their health? Fortunately, there is a new brood of these games dubbed as ‘exergames’ that can actually help to improve the health of young and old alike. With the obesity epidemic on the rise, particularly in America, the active video games might just be the breakthrough in fighting against obesity. Several studies also suggest that these video games are an excellent way to improve health, memory, and even mood. So, instead of scoffing at how your kid plays video games all the time, it is time to join in on the fun. Its time to boost your longevity in the following ways:
- Enhances Memory and Attention Span
Video games enhance your memory, attention span, and overall cognitive functioning by keeping your brain stimulated and engaged. As a result, your brain health improves by staying active. Video games include processes that boost your pattern recognition, attention to detail, problem-solving, as well as hand-eye coordination. All of these cognitive functions develop over time. Also, if you quit playing the games after a while, your newfound skills wouldn’t be lost.
- Inhibits Depression
You can get a mood boost as soon as you get your hands on that video game controller irrespective of your age. At the Gerontological Society of America’s Annual Scientific Meeting, a study was presented in 2010 on people who played Nintendo Wii an hour a week. It concluded these people had a positive mood and didn’t feel lonely compared to people who just watched TV. Another study conducted by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine said that people who played exercise games had a 50% reduction in their symptoms of depression. Playing video games is easily one of the most effective yet handy ways of eliminating stress.
- Improves Reflexes and Balance
The reflexes and balance seem to be concerned with skeleton or muscles. However, in reality, the brain and its health ensure that you stay upright and walk in a balanced way. The University of Illinois conducted a study in 2013 at Chicago, which concluded that seniors that played video games had a better balance compared to those who did not. They even had an improved gait. The games used in this particular study were directed towards developing decision-making skills, enhancing memory, and improving spatial navigation. The older candidates playing these brain-training games could eventually stand up straight. They could also walk faster compared to their counterparts who were not allowed to play these games.
- Boosts Vision
As opposed to the common belief that screen time is harmful to the eyes, video games boost your vision in reality. Seeing and Perceiving published a study in 2012 which concluded that seniors who had cataracts when played shooter games like Call of Duty for a month started recognizing faces easily, which meant their vision got improved. These first-person shooter games make the players move their eyes quickly while tracking objects and reacting to sudden events of the game. Such games increase adrenaline and dopamine, which play a vital role in keeping the brain active.
- Helps build Social Connections and Friendships
Gaming is the ultimate social activity since we are a part of the digital age. Collaborative and immersive online games are the next level connecting with like-minded people. And who knows while you connect and socialize with people over video games, you might actually create lifelong friendships.
- Improves Decision-making Skills
Being indecisive can have a very negative impact on your mental wellbeing. Playing video games can help you hone decision-making ability, as you have to make quick choices while playing them. Also, remember that while playing, you don’t have to make the right decision always just like life itself. The important thing is you make a decision, and you stick to it.
- Curbs Appetite
Video games are great when it comes to curbing your appetite. Since your brain is preoccupied with the game, it doesn’t stray and think about eating. If you are thinking of controlling your appetite, taking up video games as your new hobby can help. Also, video games are completely different than watching TV where you munch all the time mindlessly. As with video games, the craving to snack takes the back burner as your mind focuses on playing.
Which Video Games to Play for Health and Fitness?
The new genre of video games – the Exergames – is perfect when it comes to your health and fitness. These games involve both your mind and the body to enhance your overall wellbeing. From improving your spatial skills to boosting your physical health, these fitness video games are a fun way of exercising. Some of the amazing fitness games include Wii Fit and EA Active that make you work while stimulating your brain. You can also opt for strategy games that enhance your cognitive functioning and improve your memory while improving your balance.
Here you go with some amazing benefits of playing video games. So, next time don’t yell on your children while they play video games rather join in with them for some unprecedented fun. Not only will you get to bond with your child, but you can also choose the right games for them. Go for games that can play a role in their brain development as well as physical wellbeing. Moreover, you can also get a lot out of this venture – from fighting away from your loneliness to boosting your wellbeing.