The Health Benefits of Gaming

This post is by Marcus Clarke

To be healthy is sometimes difficult. It may require intense, sustained effort. Some people like exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, for some it is merely a means to an end: a way to become healthier. It is not for nothing that we have expressions such as ‘no pain no gain’ to describe our exercise regimes. However, this might not be true of all healthy things. For example, much research has shown that a perhaps surprising thing can be good for your health: video gaming.

   Playing games can be fantastic for your cognitive health and can even increase the size of certain parts of your brain. For example, one study in which people were studied as they played on games including Mario 64 found that, amazingly, all volunteers had increased mass in their brain regions associated with skills such as motor performance, spatial awareness, memory and other things, which means that gaming seemed to actually increase the size of certain brain regions. In other words, gaming makes your brain work better.  A host of other studies have found other health benefits of gaming, from improved planning skills to an increased ability to deal with trauma and pain. Gaming ca thus make you more effective in your work, make you more able to face challenges in your personal life, and may be able to help you combat disease, particularly neurological illnesses.

   So, being healthy doesn’t have to hurt. It doesn’t have to be a constant, debilitating slog. And it can be fun. The new expression for your health regime may be, rather than ‘no pain no gain’,  ‘no game no gain’.

To find out more about some of the fascinating health benefits of gaming see the infographic below from our friends at Computer Planet.