By David Worthington | Monday, August 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm
A survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that gamers were more prone to depression and obesity than non-gamers. Gamers were also older than they are customarily assumed to be.
The survey was taken in the Seattle-Tacoma area, and the sample was 500 adults between the ages of 10 and 90. Forty-five percent of respondents identified themselves as gamers. It found that female gamers were more likely to be depressed than non-gamers, and male gamers had higher incidents of obesity.
That may not defy stereotype, but surprisingly, the survey also found that the average gamer was 35 years old. The BBC cited a 2002 study in its coverage that mirrored that finding.
The CDC chose the Seattle-Tacoma area, because it has the highest Internet usage in the United States. Interestingly, Seattle was ranked as the seventh most physically fit city in 2008 by Men’s Fitness magazine.
“Health risk factors, specifically a higher BMI and a larger number of poor mental-health days, differentiated adult video-game players from non-gamers,” CDC’s Dr. James B Weaver said in a prepared statement. “Video game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status.”
I would like to see more studies taken as a follow up to this research to determine whether there is an actual correlation between gaming and negative health consequences. That said, more games that require physical involvement couldn’t come soon enough.