Negative Effects of Video Games
More than 3 billion people play video games around the world. It is an interesting hobby and a fun activity only when done in moderation. Gaming is a huge industry, and competitions are held globally.
However, there are serious health issues connected with excessive gaming. Understanding the harms associated with video games and how to control them is essential.
Signs you have a gaming addiction
Internet gaming disorder or gaming addiction is a common problem that leads to psychological problems. If you are experiencing five or more out of these nine symptoms over 12 months, you are addicted to video games.
- Gaming preoccupation.
- Withdrawal issues
- Downplaying use
- Lack of interest in other activities or hobbies
- Playing video games to escape guilt, anxiety, and negative mood states
- Poor academic performance, loss of career opportunities or relationships
- Despite psychological issues, you cannot quit gaming
- Emotional and self-control failure
The negative impact of video games on your mental and physical health
Excessive video games can have various negative impacts on your life. Understanding these harmful effects will help you protect yourself.
1. Dopamine addiction
Video games are fun because every time you achieve something, it stimulates the production of dopamine, which regulates happiness and pleasure. Constant dopamine is released from your body while you are gaming. Once your brain is used to this regular supply of dopamine, you will not be interested in any other activity that cannot produce a similar amount of pleasure. Therefore, it will become hard for you to quit gaming.
2. Lack of motivation and concentration
You cannot concentrate on any other activity when you are focused on playing video games. Complete focus and concentration are required in gaming, and even when you are not playing, you will be caught up in your game.
- Over time you will not be able to concentrate on your study, job, or other important tasks.
- It will be hard for you to sleep or get a proper diet.
- Your physical energy will be reduced with time.
When you feel sluggish and tired, you will lose motivation to do any other positive activity in life.
3. Gaming leads to serious physical health problems
You will have to deal with serious physical health problems when you continuously play video games.
- Obesity: It is the most common problem in teens and adults who are addicted to gaming. When you spend most of your time behind closed doors, your body will eventually become obese because of extra fat storage and no physical activity.
- Body aches: People often do not pay attention to their posture while playing video games, due to which they develop body aches like headaches, and pain in the wrist, thumb, and elbow. Even their eyesight becomes weak.
- Other health problems: When gamers do not pay attention to issues can, body aches and obesity, it leads to other serious health problems like cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.
4. Social disconnection
Social disconnection is a serious issue the gaming community deal with. When they do not deal with social issues, they lose their ability to solve real-life problems. Without physical interactions, gamers often suffer from isolation because they lose support from people. Such individuals also do not have any social skills, which leads to social anxiety.
5. Relationship issues
Your friends, family, and loved ones are your biggest support, but addiction to video games can make your neglect these important relationships. Eventually, you can start to lose these people in your life. Relationships require care and attention to maintain. When you take out all your aggression on your loved ones or friends because of losing an online game, they will eventually start avoiding you, leading to isolation. A healthy amount of gaming and also spending time with your loved ones is essential for your physical and mental health.
Gamers often find it difficult to fall asleep. Often active gamers complain that they cannot fall asleep at night even if they try to. Moreover, gaming can damage your sleep cycle because you spend most of your time gaming at night.
Another cause of insomnia is brain activity. Your brain cannot easily relax after a gaming session because it has been excessively stimulated, which is the primary cause of insomnia. Insomnia also makes it hard for gamers to stay active during the daytime. Another cause is excessive exposure to radiation and blue light from the screen, which keeps gamers ineffective and exhausted.
Tips for gaming in moderation
Moderation is the key because excessive everything is harmful. If you feel like you are addicted to video games, and it is getting hard for you to play in moderation, here are a few tips that will positively change your routine.
1. Reduce on-screen time and engage in healthy activities
You can start by reducing the hours you spend in front of your screen playing games. To avoid interaction with the screen, involve yourself in physical activities. Go for a walk, exercise, or spend some time in the garden. Instead of spending your time virtual world, start socializing in the real world.
2. Educate yourself for further injury presentation
You should be aware of the physical and mental harm you can do to yourself because of excessive gaming.
- Educate yourself on protecting your waistline, elbow, wrist, and thumb from strain during gaming.
- To maintain good eyesight as a gamer, you should follow the 20-20-20 rule. It means after every 20 minutes, and you have to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Learn self-assessment to maintain a healthy sleep cycle and emotional state.
- Maintain an ergonomic posture while gaming to protect yourself from backache and other postural issues.
- While gaming, take small breaks to stretch and rest.
- If any part of your body starts to pain, ensure you get it checked early so you can prevent any serious injuries.
3. Pay attention to your diet
Even as a professional gamer, you should never forget to maintain a healthy diet. While gaming, take healthy snacks and drink water so you will not suffer from dehydration.
Playing video games is fun and allows you to be active only when integrated with a healthy lifestyle. You should focus on an exercise routine, a sleep cycle, and good nutrition. Gaming should be a hobby, not your life, if you want to stay healthy.
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