The ever-increasing popularity of computer games has led to an increasing scrutiny of the effects they have on the lifestyles and health of the most avid gamers. In the past, many experts have suggested that “excessive” gaming was potentially likely to contribute to the obesity epidemic, along with aggravating a number of social and emotional problems. According to a study conducted by three American universities however, the results obtained in a survey of more than 7,000 gamers suggest the exact opposite.
The researchers polled a group of gamers who played a specific fantasy role-playing game called EverQuest II. As a reward for completing the online questionnaire, the gamers were offered a virtual weapon they could use to play the game. The compiled results indicate that adult gamers had a body mass index (BMI) a little bit above 25, which is considered the threshold for being “overweight”. And although the average BMI in the United States is 28, a “healthy” body weight is located in the 20 to 25 bracket. The gamers also stated they performed vigorous physical activity once or twice a week. Yet, this amount of physical activity remains far below the level that is generally recommended by most medical authorities.
Furthermore, the gamers polled reported more cases of depression and of substance abuse than their peers. This information actually corresponds to the results previously observed by other researchers.
According to this study, fans of video games are therefore unlikely to be in better or worse physical shape than their fellow compatriots. Conclusion: there is nothing really bad about taking up this hobby. It is important however that homework, social activities and sports are not neglected in the process.