Video Games, Addictive Behavior and physical activity

I just read a blurb in time Magazine talking about how “addicted gamers” are more succeptable to mental illness. A study in Thailand looked at over 3,000 elementary and middle school students for over 2 years. Addicted gamers spent on average 31 hours per week in front of a consule playing games. The conclusion stated that these addicted gamers were tended to be more aggressive and antisocial, and were at higher risk for developing conditions such as anxiety, depression and social phobia.Having 2 children myself, I can say that I would never let my child spend 31 hours each week in front of a screen. It makes sense to me that spending that much time being sedentary and watching or reacting to fast images on a screen can affect a developing mind over time. We are animals essentially. Our bodies need to move, our bodies crave physical activity. If you deprive a developing body of physical activity it will have detremental effects for years to come. Children look to thier parents as role models and will do mirror what we as parents do. If we are exercising and being active then our children will want to be active and healthy and take care of themselves. If we are lazy and don’t do any physical activity then our children will emulate that.Granted there are a lot of us who have to spend many hours a day in front of a computer for our work. But if you sit that long, then you need a physical outlet even more so. More and more studies are coming out discussing how sitting all day not only leads to physical issues such as increased risk of: low back pain, hip pain, mid back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, arm pain and tingling and numbness. But it also leads to internal issues such as increased risk of: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes.So if you or your child are spending lots of time in front of a computer or screen, make sure you exercise to counteract the sedentary nature of sitting all day. Exercise stimulates the release of different hormones, specifically human growth hormone. Exercise causes the release of HGH (human growth hormone) in the brain which allows the brain to form longer lasting memories. Not to mention that it causes the release of endorphins that help alleviate mood and can alleviate of even prevent depression or anxiety.Exercise is good stuff. We need to make sure our children are doing it, it will actually make them smarter in the long run.

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