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Study Finds Adult Videogamers may Face Health Risks

by Savitha C Muppala on August 19, 2009 at 11:08 PM
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 Study Finds Adult Videogamers may Face Health Risks

Depression and weight gain may plague adult videogamers, a recent study has said.

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

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The study -- "Health-Risk Correlates of Video-Game Playing Among Adults" -- is being 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.
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The Seattle-Tacoma area -- 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 videogame 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.

Source: AFP
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