12 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing Video Games!
We listen all the time about how video games are making our children sick. We hear that video games are unhealthy and that they are something to be avoided. We hear that we need to limit to a minimum the time we spend playing them.
Although, there are some negative aspects of playing videogames – there is no denying that they prevent us from leaving – there are also some beneficial effects. Surprisingly, playing video games can help our physical, mental and emotional health. We improved in ways we would not have expected, whether we play World of Warcraft with our friends, Call of Duty alone, or even Wii Fit.
Let’s take a look at all the surprising and unexpected ways in which playing video games helps our health. Although, what kind of benefits will we see? Here is a look at 12 amazing health benefits of playing video games. We highly recommend games with sports activities that you can play with your family, and have a lot of fun.
Just a note of caution
Before we enter this list of amazing health benefits, this article is not an excuse to justify spending all day, every day in video games. I still believe in moderation and limitation.
Similar to eating chocolate and junk food, it is a case of doing it in moderation. This means that you will still need to go out and do some other physical activity. Some of the social benefits do not outweigh the benefits of meeting in person with your friends.
In moderation, you will find that you can take advantage of the benefits. We have an Xbox at home, and playing is limited to weekends. This helps give importance to our family time during the week, but also allows some fun and online play for a few hours a week to earn the benefits.
Ability to overcome dyslexia
If you suffer from dyslexia, we have excellent news. Video games have proven to have some benefits in order to overcome this cognitive disability. While researchers do not fully understand dyslexia and why it affects only some people, there are some theories, and the results of the studies can not be denied.
One of the theories says that attention problems lead to dyslexia. The benefit of video games is that they force you to concentrate for long periods of time. You probably do not even realize you’re concentrating for these long periods of time.
The games are full of changing scenarios. You must read the instructions that come out in text, sometimes with voices reading said text. It has instructions that you must follow and missions that you need to complete. This is not only in military games like Call of Duty or Gears of War. Some of the most appropriate games for children like Disney’s Infinity or Skylander include missions to complete and ever changing and growing scenarios.
You must concentrate so intensely that your brain changes the way it is made. Still more studies should be done to try to understand this benefit more thoroughly.
Your vision can improve
This seems to be completely or put to the old belief that if you get too close to the computer or TV, your vision would be negatively affected. Well, in fact you do not have to sit so close to the TV for most games now, because the control cables are now much longer. We can even sit at the other end of the room.
Other studies have shown that video games can improve your vision. You are forced to look for details on the screen and distinguish between different shades of the same color. This ability becomes useful in the real world, since it will be easier to distinguish between colors when you are walking. You will notice the smallest details.
At the same time, people with a lazy eye have shown improvement. This was found in studies in which the good eye was covered, so that the player was forced to see using the lazy eye. Remember that the eyes are surrounded by muscles. By strengthening these muscles, the lazy eye problem was corrected even to the point where it no longer existed.
You can become more sporty
Video games have come a long way since the first one was invented. At that time, they involved children and adults sitting for hours to complete the missions and reach the end of the game. I remember when you had to sit for hours to complete levels because there was not a function to save the game. I have not yet passed level 8.2 of the original Mario!
Currently, video games involve a physical aspect. There is Just Dance, Wii Fit, Guitar Hero and more. These games make you stand up and dance wherever you are. You can develop muscles, improve posture, and focus on weight loss.
And you can also become more physically active even when you do not use this kind of games. Children who play sports video games are more likely to develop interest in those sports outside the home. They join teams or practice in the real world the skills they see at stake. Some will play with their friends and others will develop the skills on their own.
Parents can help by encouraging their children to get out more. Find which games interest them and develop a way to help them practice the sport of said game away from home.
There are benefits to creativity
Creativity leads to health benefits, and video games certainly develop creativity. This applies to all types of games.
Let’s start with military games and shooters. You will need to go overcoming the missions, discover where we should go, and learn all about the different weapons. Sometimes you need to figure out creative ways to defeat the bad guys, especially at the most difficult levels.
With sports video games, sometimes you need to overcome a level using a slightly different method than normal. Or you can think of new tricks on the snowboard or the skateboard.
And then there are the creation games like Minecraft and The Sims. You can create families, build houses, and create worlds. Soon you will develop universes and create characters that never existed before. You can tell a story through the games, which is developed in each round you play.
Creativity happens to your abilities in the real world. You start finding new ways to handle situations in real life, and you will become much more useful at work. There will be better job satisfaction, which will help you improve your mental health. There is even the ability to escape the “mouse race” and create your own business to keep your family yourself with greater financial freedom.
Improve memory and other cognitive skills
We listen all the time about how we need to keep our brains working to maintain their functioning at the highest level. While many of us focus on crossword puzzles and sudoku, there’s no denying that video games can help. Just think about the amount of work your brain must do while you play.
Over time, you will begin to recognize patterns in the games, and you will need to remember missions, characters, the functions of the various items in the game, and much more. While you are looking for creative ways to overcome the levels, you will keep your brain working.
There are also some games created specifically to help train the brain. The Wii Fit has a game that makes you solve math problems, hit balls to answer the questions by moving your hips. You will be working physically and mentally at the same time. There are others where you will need to perform memory tasks, or you will be asked to answer other questions.
Your memory and cognitive abilities will be boosted and improved. You will also feel good about yourself as your memory improves and you surpass your high scores. So, while you get that rise in serotonin, you’ll also get a rise in neurons. Your hippocampus grows, and you will have a lower risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life.
Yes, you can really fight the aging process thanks to video games. The next time someone tells you to stop playing, make them realize that you are only preventing your mental aging process.
Distract your attention from pain
While sitting for a long time can cause discomfort, and you can develop repetitive injury to your wrists due to the controls, video games can help you reduce the amount of pain you feel.
The benefit happens because while you’re playing video games, you distract your mind from the pain you feel. You concentrate on the game – something you’re enjoying. And you forget the pain that was there.
I can guarantee that this works. I still remember when I was a child when I had a stomachache on the way to a friend’s house. We only played a few games, and I completely forgot my stomach ache!
While playing video games, we also release endorphins, the analgesic hormone. You will be improving your body’s natural ability to get rid of the pain you feel.
The next time you feel pain, sit on the couch and play a level of your favorite game for about 20 minutes. You will quickly realize that the pain is reduced since you were not thinking about it.
Improve your social skills and develop links
You will notice that your social skills improve when playing video games. Most units or consoles can connect to the internet and allow you to chat with people who are playing. Some of the chats are live and through headsets, while others are through forums connected to the games.
You get to know other people and develop links in real life. Everyone celebrates together, and there is a feeling of belonging.
It also gives you the ability to improve your social skills when you are under pressure. Maybe you need to give orders to the members of your team while you play a cooperative shooter, while you are under enemy fire. There is a stress factor, and you need to communicate clearly and concisely, to let people know where you are and what you need them to do.
Of you will realize that the communication in the office will be much simpler. Communication with your family will improve, especially when you feel under pressure or stressed. You will feel more positive and sure of your abilities and it will be easier for you to work as a team.
Forge deeper friendships with people
Humans need interaction and socialization. We may say that we like to be alone, but isolation leads to negative feelings. The more isolated we are, the more we have to face depression and anxiety.
Playing video games helps forge deeper friendships. Remember that when playing there is the ability to develop better connections with people. You will connect with people who have similar interests. Maybe you do not live in the same city or even in the same country, but you will find people who look a lot like you. While you may never meet them in person, there are individuals with whom you can count, they will be online when you have a problem.
This feeling of being accepted as you are is important. You begin to feel that you can be open and it will be easier for you to forge friendships in any other place.
With video games come the conventions and events to meet and greet. You can meet people who share your interests in person. You can go to these events with friends and find other things they may have in common.
Studies have shown that this can also help those with autism. For they are allowed to forge some social interaction without extra pressure. Everyone will communicate through their achievements, and everyone will feel accepted.
Make decisions faster to improve your life
Some video games force you to think fast. You need to decide the paths to take, the missions to do, and the actions to be taken to carry out the tasks satisfactorily. All of these require skills in decision making and problem solving.
This is not necessarily about learning to make the right decision. It’s about learning how to decide. Being undecided can affect your mental and physical health. You take unnecessary risks, or you realize that you are taking extra time at work and that affects your mental health. Your friends will not include you in their plans because you do not have the capacity to make decisions, so you end up feeling like they are being pushed aside.
Playing video games involves making decisions from time to time. These do not always have to be right decisions, but they are decisions that you must support, and you must make them in a fraction of a second. You need to act calmly under pressure and get to the next stage.
Soon you will realize that these new skills will benefit you in real life. They will make you feel good about yourself and you will progress with your friends and at work.
This can also help you improve your cognitive and memory skills, connecting this to the health benefit mentioned above. Fast decisions mean that you can evoke memories in a better way, as well as improve the average growth and cell repair.
Contains your food cravings to keep you underweight
How often have you wanted to eat something while playing video games? We all see those movies and TV shows where a gamer appears surrounded by chips and soda, but can you honestly say that this is how you are?
When you are playing, you concentrate on the screen. Your hands are occupied with control. You do not have time to grab food and eat it. You’ll be lucky if you can drink a little from time to time.
Also, your mind is completely removed from the idea of eating a sandwich. It is busy.
Cravings usually happen because of emotions. We are bored or stressed, so we look for something that keeps us busy. Well, we are already solving this problem using video games. To top it off, we feel good about playing because we are having fun, so we do not want snacks.
Containing cravings will help you lose weight. You will focus on healthy eating, and you can reduce the health problems associated with obesity. You will no longer need sugar, so you will not feel that you are on a diet and you will feel very good about yourself.
Keep stress to a minimum
We all suffer stress for one reason or another. Some of us have high stress jobs, while finances or home are a problem for others. It is the way in which we manage stress which affects our health. Playing video games can help keep stress levels at a minimum, in a variety of ways.
First consider the benefit that gives us distract from all things. We are so absorbed in games that we forget the reasons for stress. If you suffer in the night of stress and little sleep, you can realize that a bit of video games help. They will help you relax after a long day, and you will concentrate exclusively on the missions that you have in front of you.
While you are not getting rid of the cause of stress, you will prevent it from taking your life completely. Even so, you will want to reduce the causes of stress, but you will be more likely when you have a means of escape.
At the same time, you will be improving your ability to make decisions, your creative abilities, and you can overcome other mental health problems. It will make it easier for you to overcome the causes of stress, helping you to fight the problems in front of you. You will not have to deal with the symptoms, because the symptoms stop appearing.
When a last minute project comes out at work, you will not panic. You enter your gamer mode and treat the issue as if it were a mission. You will find an attack plan, delegate others, and make those quick key decisions that will make the mission complete. Your boss will appreciate you for this.
If you are having financial problems, you will look for the necessary steps to follow in order to improve your situation, you will sit down and make a plan to counteract the problem, instead of letting stress take over your life.
And then, there’s the ability to release more hormones of happiness when you’re playing. More happiness hormones mean less stress hormones in your body. Your mental state will improve, keeping health problems that involve stress at bay.