Video Game Playing Linked To Health Risks - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Healthcare // Analytics
News
8/18/2009
04:40 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Video Game Playing Linked To Health Risks

Adults who play video games are more likely to report being overweight, depressed, and in poor health than those who don't play.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University and Andrews University have found that men who play video games are more likely to report a higher body mass index (BMI) than men who don't play video games and that women players are more likely to report depression and poor health.

The study, "Health-Risk Correlates of Video-Game Playing Among Adults," is scheduled to appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), Volume 37, Issue 4 (October 2009). It is based on self-reported survey data gathered in 2006 from over 500 adults, age 19 to 90, in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Among the respondents, 45.1% played video games, 55.9% of whom were men.

"Video-game players reported more depression, lower extraversion, and greater psychoticism than nonplayers," the study states. "Differences are also evident for three of the five measures in the health-assessment domain: Videogame players reported lower health status, a higher frequency of poor-mental-health days, and higher BMI."

While video game playing is typically seen as an activity of children and teenagers, the average age of video game players is 35, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Both men and women video gamers tend to turn to the Internet for social support, rather than family and friends.

The study suggests that women may use video games as a form of self-medication, to take their minds off of worries. Men, the study says, look to video games as a way to socialize. Video game players in general reported less extroversion than their non-playing peers.

The study states that "conclusions about causality cannot be made," which is to say that video game playing isn't implicated as the cause of the cited health effects. Rather, the study's aim is to evaluate the hypothesis that there are health differences between video game players and non-players, and to justify further research on the subject.

A companion piece in the AJPM by Brian A. Primack acknowledges that video games are diverse and that many have positive aspects that may enhance education, social skills, and problem solving. The challenge, and the purpose of such studies, he suggests, should be to understand and harness the positive aspects of video games while limiting the negative aspects like sedentary behavior and social isolation.

There's a big buzz surrounding Government 2.0 -- the revolution that's bringing the principles and value of the Web as a platform to the business of governing. Attend Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase and hear innovators show how this is really happening. At the Washington Convention Center, Sept. 8. Find out more and register.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll