Most of all, playing video games is one of the popular ways people use to relieve their stress. Furthermore, research and studies over the years have confirmed that video games do indeed help relieve stress. Results from some of this research are described below.
- First of all, researchers in a 2009 Journal of Cyber Therapy & Rehabilitation study, tested the effects of casual video games on electroencephalography (EEG) and heart rate variability (HRV). Most noteworthy, both of these measure physiological responses to stress. So using these measures, researchers found that gaming helps reduce stress. In fact, they suggested using gaming as therapy for people who suffer from various mental health issues.
- Next, the findings from 2009 supported an earlier 2007 study from McGill University. This earlier study found that playing social-intelligence games reduced the stress hormone cortisol by 17%.
- Also, there was a study appearing in the 2010 volume 15 edition of the “European Psychologist”. And, this study reported that young male & female adults who played violent video games showed that they:
- Are able to handle stress better than non-playing adults
- Become less depressed & hostile following a stressful task
Furthermore, the study suggested that violent games may help people:
- Work through their frustrations in real life situations
- Calm down without increasing aggressive behaviors in real life
- In addition, 2013 data from the Entertainment Software Association showed that:
- 45 percent of the gamers were female, 55 percent male
- 32 percent were under the age of 18
- 32 percent were between the ages of 18 to 35
- 36 percent were 36 years of age and older
These numbers illustrated that people from every walk of life and age group turned to video games for their entertainment. Furthermore, recent research indicates people turn to gaming because video games provide a tremendous vehicle for stress relief as well as being fun.
- Also, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital polled children. They reported that a majority of the children chose to play video games as a way to manage difficult feelings like anger and stress.
- Finally, researchers at University College in London, in a 2014 study, found a correlation between hours spent playing video games per week and overall recovery from work-related stress.
Other popular methods to get relief from stress are illustrated in the infographic.