Is Gaming Healthy?

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Is Gaming Healthy?

Gaming has undoubtedly become one of the most popular modern recreational activities in the world. However, with this popularity has come a fair amount of media coverage speculating on how safe video games really are. The question of whether or not gaming is healthy is more complicated than one might think.

Use as a Recovery Tool

Video games might not seem on the surface as though they could be used for medicinal purposes. However, the reality is, that patients could potentially speed up their recovery if they play games.

The emergence of virtual reality has opened up new options for treating chronic pain. Patients can use technology to distract themselves from their discomfort. The visualisation elements of VR also aid therapeutic techniques.

People with painful joint conditions may be using osteoarthritis medications to alleviate pain. Virtual reality could be used in tandem with this medication to help give the patient a better quality of life.

Conditions Associated With Gaming

There are plenty of positive aspects of gaming in terms of health. Unfortunately, there are also possible health conditions that could be exacerbated by excessive gaming. The majority of these occur when the player becomes addicted to their games.

  • Repetitive Strain Injuries

This is one of the most common conditions that has been seen in gamers. If a person uses a controller or keyboard and mouse for extended periods, they could develop a muscle strain in their hands and wrists. Joints may also be affected. Pain and possible swelling will make continued gaming much more difficult. The player will need to shorten their gaming sessions or take a break from it altogether.

  • Eye Issues

Eye issues can develop if the gamer stares at a screen for too long. Their eyes could become strained. They may also experience dizziness and headaches. This is not a phenomenon unique to gaming. Staring at any screen for too long can cause this effect. The risk of it happening can be minimised by taking short breaks during game sessions.

  • Seizures

Seizures tend to only occur to gamers who are already susceptible to epileptic conditions in the first place. They are nevertheless very dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Modern games come with warnings about whether the visuals are dangerous for epileptic people. It is therefore essential to read labels carefully before playing the games.

  • Dehydration and Starvation

Sometimes people can get so wrapped up in a game that they do not realise how much time is passing. They may forget to eat and drink. In these cases, it is easy for dehydration and starvation to occur. To prevent this, gamers should keep an eye on the time, as well as remember to eat and drink when they need to.

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