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The Health Benefits of Video Games

by | May 19, 2022 | Health, Hobbies

After writing about which sports you should try out this summer, we thought we should support our fellas who aren’t too into sports (plus, it gets pretty hot in the summer, and A/C is nice). We know you wouldn’t expect a men’s health provider to write about video games, but they actually have health benefits.

Don’t believe us? Well, put down the controller (just for now) and get to reading because here are some of the ways video games improve your health.

It’s all about brain power

Video games have long been hit with a stigma that they are “mindless,” but that’s not true. Video games can do wonders for the brain—they have even been linked to improvements in brain function.

Spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception can all be positively impacted by video games, even the first-person shooter games that are often derided.

It’s not just brain health either. Video games can have significant effects on mental health. They’ve been linked to “flourishing mental health,” a phrase used to describe overall positive mental health and well-being, not just the absence of mental health problems.

They’ve also been linked to greater sociability. Many games offer local and online multiplayer functionality, which helps gamers connect with their “real life” friends and those they meet through the game.

Don’t forget the physical benefits

Video games are sometimes known for helping to create a sedentary lifestyle, but they’re not without their physical benefits. They have been linked to improved manual dexterity and response times, especially pertaining to advanced movements. We can think of a few places outside of video games where manual dexterity might come in handy (😏 ). 

The physical benefits don’t just stop at the hand. Many video games are linked to an overall improvement in physical health and well-being.

The Nintendo Wii famously featured a game dedicated to improving your health, and Nintendo carried on that tradition with a health adventure game on its Switch console. Pokémon Go! encouraged people to get outside in search of their favorite Pokémon.  

Some games have been used in a healthcare setting, helping those facing physical rehabilitation, mental health issues and other ailments. Recent advancements in virtual reality have offered opportunities for gamers to fully immerse themselves in the game, possibly aiding with pain management and improving mobility. 

That said, video games should be a supplement to your weekly activity. If you’re relying on video games for all of your exercise, you’re probably playing too much.

Remember the limitations

Much like everything else, we recommend you enjoy video games in moderation. It’s true there are some negative health effects associated with gaming, including eye strain, hand injuries and the very rare potential for addiction. 

However, you can avoid all these issues by exercising caution and gaming responsibly. If your thumb starts to hurt, put down the controller. Don’t stare at a bright screen in a dark room for hours. Continue to exercise and eat well because, well, you should.

Practice moderation, and you’ll be able to harness the positive effects of playing video games.

All this talk of video games got you thinking about your joystick? You’ve come to the right place. Missouri Men’s Health helps area residents find solutions to ED—reach out to learn more.

Start your path back to optimal performance today.
Call (573) 334-1341 or visit our clinic.