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Playing Video Games can Benefit Health

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Research published in this month’s British Medical Journal (BMJ) may show that playing video games can be beneficial to your health.  According to Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, video games act as a distraction for young patients undergoing painful cancer treatments.  It may also help children with attention deficit disorders and autism.

The article states “Video gaming is safe for most players and can be useful in healthcare.  Although playing video games is one of the most popular leisure activities in the world, research into its effects on players, both positive and negative, is often trivialized. Some of this research deserves to be taken seriously, not least because video game playing has implications for health.''


His research shows that computer games can act as a “cognitive distraction”, helping to relieve patients undergoing chemotherapy and treatment for sickle cell disease.  The patients had less nausea and even lower systolic blood pressure.  They also needed fewer analgesics.

Playing video games prevented a child from continually touching a cut.   “The degree of attention needed to play such a game can distract the player from the sensation of pain”.  The child had neurodermatitis and scarring due to continual picking at his upper lip.  Previous treatments had failed so the boy was given a hand held video game to keep his hands occupied.”

Griffiths has been observing children playing video games for 15 years.  He warns some violent video games may make some people aggressive.  It might be a good idea to mix game play with exercise to avoid obesity. 

The study is at http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/331/7509/122

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM