Gaming If you are a video-gaming addict then this news may particularly interest you. The latest study by experts from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrew University finds that video-gaming is apparently a cause for increased health risk. It is usually appeared to be leisure for children and young adults but surprisingly the study reveals that in the United States the average age of players is 35.

Experts from the CDC evaluated the survey data from over 500 adults, the ages ranging from 19-90 in the Seattle-Tacoma region on health threats. Other factors like media use behaviors and insights, as well as those related to video-game playing were also analysed. Demographic factors were also taken into consideration. Considerable correlations between video-gaming and health risks were supposedly found by researchers.

The weekly usage was accumulated as the participants informed whether they were players or non-players. Internet usage was also reviewed. Internet as a social support was also one the important factors. Poor quality of life, body mass index (BMI), physical and mental health, personality, depression and health status are the personal determinants observed in the study. How much time is allotted to media was also checked by them i.e. the amount of time the participants spent during a usual week surfing the net and watching TV which includes watching videos as well as DVDs. The Seattle-Tacoma is said to be the 13th largest US media market and its internet usage is apparently highest in the nation. This is why this region was chosen.

The number of respondents who accounted for playing video-games was 45.1%. The study claimed that the female players had apparently lower health status and greater depression as opposed to the female non-players. Similarly male video-game users supposedly accounted for higher BMI as well as more internet use time as against male non-players. Internet as a social support was apparently the only common determinant among the male and female video-game players.

Dr. James B Weaver III, PhD, MPH, National Center for Health Marketing, CDC, Atlanta, stated “As hypothesized, health-risk factors – specifically, a higher BMI and a greater number of poor mental-health days – differentiated adult video-game players from nonplayers. Video-game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns. Internet community support and time spent online distinguished adult video-game players from non players, a finding consistent with prior research pointing to the willingness of adult video-game enthusiasts to sacrifice real-world social activities to play video games. The data illustrate the need for further research among adults to clarify how to use digital opportunities more effectively to promote health and prevent disease.”

Brian A. Primack, MD, EdM, MS, from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine remarked “There are noteworthy differences between the oldest forms of play (e.g., chase games) and today’s ‘playlike activities.’ These playlike activities may stimulate the right centers of the brain to be engaging. However, the differences between today’s ‘playlike activities’ and original forms of play may illuminate some of the observed health-related correlates discovered by Weaver, et al.”

Primack approved Weaver et al. for focusing on the present recognition of video games not among youth but also among adults. He is of the opinion that several video-games are now-a-days ‘play-like activities’ and not the original forms of play.

Adding to it Dr Primack mentioned “How do we simultaneously help the public steer away from imitation playlike activities, harness the potentially positive aspects of video games, and keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society? There are massive, powerful industries promoting many playlike activities. And industry giants that can afford to will successfully tout the potential benefits of health-related products they develop. But who will be left to remind us that – for children and adults alike – Hide-And-Seek and Freeze Tag are still probably what we need most?”

Dr Primack is of the opinion is that we must keep up a proper balance.

This study will be published by will appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.