Playing video games for prolonged periods has been linked to obesity because of their sedentary nature. A new study has now revealed that young women who play computer games for an hour every day are at an increased risk of gaining unhealthy weight.
The findings of the study reveal that women who spend two hours daily in playing computer game are at risk of gaining additional 3.7 kg after a period of five years. The researchers, however, found no such impact of video games in men.
For the study, researchers followed more than 2,500 Swedes in their 20s for five years. The study participants responded to a survey on three different occasions- in 2007, 2008 and 2012.
The research team used the survey to investigate whether the amount of time young people spend e-mailing, chatting or playing computer games in their free time affects their body mass index (BMI). The results suggested that women of normal weight who played computer games for at least one hour a day were more likely to become overweight (measured as a BMI over 25) during the five-year study period compared with women who did not play.
One of the researchers, Sara Thomee from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said, "The increased BMI in those who played computer games for more than two hours a day would for a young woman of average height and weight equal an additional weight gain of 3.7 kilos. That calculation takes other risk factors for obesity into account, such as age, occupation, total daily computer time, physical activity during free time, sleep and perceived social support."
The study was published in BMC Public Health.