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Adult Video Gamers May Face Health Risks

Wednesday, 19 Aug 2009 09:54 AM

Adults who play video games may suffer higher levels of depression and weigh more than non-gamers, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, and Andrews University, found "measurable correlations between video-game playing and health risks."

The study, "Health-Risk Correlates of Video-Game Playing Among Adults," will be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The researchers surveyed 562 adults ranging in age from 19 to 90 in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington state. A total of 45.1 percent of those surveyed reported playing videogames.

The Seattle-Tacoma area, which is the home of Microsoft and Amazon, was selected because it has the highest Internet usage level in the country.

Female videogame players reported greater depression and lower health status than female non-players while male video game players reported a higher body mass index (BMI) and more Internet use time than male non-players.

"The only determinant common to both female and male video-game players was greater reliance on the Internet for social support," the study said.

"As hypothesized, health-risk factors — specifically, a higher BMI and a greater number of poor mental-health days — differentiated adult video-game players from nonplayers," said Dr. James Weaver of the CDC's National Center for Health Marketing.

"Video-game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns," he said.

Most studies on videogame use and health have focused on adolescents. The study is one of the first to study the health-risk factors of videogame playing in adults.

Copyright AFP




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