Video Games Good for Seniors’ Health?

(Image source: North Carolina State University/CNET)
A new study suggests video games may not be
so bad for your mental health after all. Researchers
at North Carolina State University have found
a link between gaming and better emotional
well-being in senior citizens.
Researchers asked 140 adults aged 63 and older
about their video game usage, and Science
Daily reports:
“The study found that participants who played
video games … reported higher levels of
well-being. Those who did not play video games
reported … a tendency toward higher levels
of depression.”
61 percent of the participants described themselves
as occasional players, and 35 percent were
regular gamers who played at least once a
week. (Via CBS)
Spending some quality time with a controller
has been linked to positive health benefits
for people of all ages. Active games may increase
energy in children, and surgeons who play
Nintendo Wii perform better in laparoscopic
or keyhole procedures. (Via WJAR)
But can video games really take all the credit
for better mental health in seniors? CNET
points out, “…it could be that those who
elect to play video games are, for instance,
healthier and more social to begin with…
Also, it could be their interaction with friends
or family members … not the gaming itself…”
Dr. Jason Allaire, the lead author of a paper
describing the study and an associate professor
of psychology at NC State, said in a press
release his group is planning to conduct more
studies “to determine whether playing digital
games actually improves mental health in older
adults.” (Via WMDT)
Looks like we’ll have to wait for some more
research before buying Grandma that Xbox.

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