The most recent data indicates that there are around 3.09 billion video gamers worldwide, and the number is still growing. Unfortunately, negative effects are on the rise due to these activities.
While the impacts of gaming may vary among individuals, a large number still suffer from potential negative consequences. According to ExpressVPN, many people of all ages play video games daily, and more than 58% of players opt to keep playing despite any possible downsides.
We can split the risks of prolonged video game playing into two categories: physical and mental/emotional.
How Gaming Affects Physical Health
If you spend hours each day in front of your computer, gaming, this can have lasting repercussions for your physical health. Below are just a few examples:
Poor Sleep Hygiene
When you neglect your sleep on a regular basis, it causes negative effects on other aspects of your life. Your concentration skills will suffer in all areas, such as school and work. It will ultimately result in poor performance due to a lack of energy.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it affects your cognitive abilities and relationships. Sleep deprivation harms your quality of life as a whole.
Dehydration and Poor Diet
When you become too engaged in gaming, it’s easy to forget the basics of keeping yourself healthy. Skipping meals and not drinking enough water can seriously impacts your body’s ability to perform at its best.
You will experience painful headaches due to dehydration. A bad diet can lead to muscle loss. In the long run, an inadequate nutrition plan may even cause serious health conditions like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), celiac disease, and, worst of all, cancer in certain cases.
How Gaming Affects Mental Health
When your physical health is neglected, your mental or emotional health also suffers. Some examples are listed below.
A study on gaming habits demonstrates that indulging in video games can effectively soothe the amygdala. Doing so suppresses one’s emotional responses.
Prolonged gaming can lead to feelings of restlessness and aggression. These are two common withdrawal symptoms associated with gaming disorder.
Depression and Social Anxiety
Whether gaming contributes to depression and social anxiety is still a topic of discussion. Scientific studies have yet to reach their final conclusion.
Research conducted by Tortolero et al. in 2014 found a link between video game usage and depression. They discovered that when gamers play more than 2 hours of video games daily, it significantly increases the risk of depressive symptoms in those individuals.
How to Overcome Gaming Addiction?
If you believe that your gaming behavior is causing a negative impact on your life, then the first step to take is recognizing and admitting the problem.
Breaking free from gaming addiction takes dedication and time. But the payoff is worth it. You can unlock many possibilities in your life without game playing affecting it. Here are some tips.
- If you’re seeking motivation to quit gaming, read stories of gamers who have successfully conquered their addiction.
- Take a short quiz to identify if you are suffering from gaming addiction.
- If you’re looking to step away from video games, the internet is full of useful step-by-step guides. These guides will help you with your addiction.
- Work with a therapist or coach if you are seeking a personalized approach to overcoming gaming addiction. It is an ideal solution to improve your physical and mental health. Not only will this provide the tailored attention that you need, but it can also help you address the issue at hand.