Can video games be good against certain disorders? Recent studies show that yes, as long as we make rational use of them. Their benefits will surprise you.
- IMPROVE VISUAL ATTENTION
- COMBAT “LAZY EYE. “
- REDUCE THE SENSATION OF PAIN
- AN AID FOR PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
- INCREASE THE ABILITY TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS
- CONTRIBUTE TO BETTER RELATIONSHIPS
- REDUCE POST-TRAUMATIC SYNDROME
Video games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment nowadays. And we are not only talking about children and teenagers, but adults also use them to entertain themselves.
But, regardless of the fun they provide, can they have any health benefits? According to many studies, it seems so, and as long as there is no abusive use. One of the best known is that they keep the mind fit, but others may surprise you.
1. IMPROVE VISUAL ATTENTION
Certain action video games could become an excellent tool to focus attention on what we see, which would help improve our concentration and reading ability.
The research, published in Scientific Reports, involved 36 adults divided into two groups: regular users of action video games and those who did not use them. After performing several tests, the first group scored better in visual attention and reading ability.
Previous studies suggest that video games may help combat disorders such as dyslexia, the researchers argue.
Increased concentration can also improve your learning ability and ability to read complex texts for doing some research work. And you won’t ask anymore, “Who can write my paper for me?” You can be able to do it on your own.
2. COMBATING THE “LAZY EYE”
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley have shown how video games help young adults with lazy eyes to see less blurred. Thanks to them, research participants suffering from this disorder (medically known as amblyopia) increased visual acuity by an average of 30%.
3D depth perception also improved in those affected.
This research opens a new door in the treatment of amblyopia in adulthood.
3. REDUCE THE SENSATION OF PAIN
Pain works in a complex way, and the person who feels it start to think about it.
By continually thinking about it, the pain increases. But video games can help break that chain.
Several studies support this idea. And the key, according to a report published in the British Medical Journal, seems to be in the high degree of attention that this type of games demand. By focusing on them, we stop paying attention to our pain sensation, which is reduced.
The effect has been successfully tested, for example, in children undergoing chemotherapy: video games helped them to suffer less nausea and take less painkillers.
4. AN AID FOR PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
Video games can be a great (and fun!) way to regain mobility after a fracture. They can even help improve coordination, reflexes, and balance in people who have suffered a stroke and in patients with severe neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
5. INCREASE THE ABILITY TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS
Video games pose before a gamer many challenges and problems that must be solved quickly. But can this “virtual” training help us gain agility in decision-making in real life as well?
Yes, they can.
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) have tested it on emergency physicians. And they have done so by creating a video game specifically for them, in which the protagonist is precisely a doctor in this specialty. After an hour of playing the video game, the doctors’ decision-making was better and faster than those who reviewed traditional teaching material.
6. THEY CONTRIBUTE TO BETTER RELATIONSHIPS
When you think of a video game user, you may think of a teenager locked up for hours in his room. But technology has made it much easier for video games to go out into the street.
According to research by the University of British Columbia (Canada), the new augmented reality proposals, in which you have to look for different characters to hunt them, can help increase the ability to relate to others, according to research by the University of British Columbia (Canada).
7. REDUCE POST-TRAUMATIC SYNDROME
This effect has been studied, in particular, with a popular game whose objective is to make lines of square blocks as they fall.
By focusing attention on the game, intrusive thoughts are reduced.
The authors of the study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, divided the participants into two groups (all of whom had been involved in a traffic accident). Those who played the video game for 20 minutes had 62% fewer traumatic flashbacks of the time of the accident than those who read, did crossword puzzles, or sent text messages.
As you can see, the benefits of video games are numerous. So, use it, but not too much, and take care of your health.
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