Wellness Blog: Games for Fun and Health

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It may be time to borrow the video game controller from your grandchild! Research and studies keep popping up about the benefits of video and computer games for maintaining both mental and physical fitness. Video games are good for your health? Who would have thought?

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Here are some of the studies and results linked to video and computer games:

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Improved balance: Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered that seniors who played brain-training computer games had better balance than seniors who didn’t. The study was published in the Journal of Gerontology.

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Lowered levels of stress and depression: According to a 2011 study at East Carolina University, video games may help to lessen depression and anxiety. The study showed that video games can be mood-boosting to participants, with short- and long-term positive effects.

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Improved vision: A 2012 student from McMaster University in Ontario discovered that older adults with cataracts may improve their vision by playing games that are fast-paced, cause rapid eye movement, and require lots of attention. Participants could see more clearly.

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Increased exercise levels: As stated by the U.S. News and World Report, games which cause us to get up and move, such as many Wii console games, help individuals to improve cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow. And they burn some calories, too!

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Did you know?

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            Brecon Village has an ongoing Wii bowling league that many of our residents already participate in. Games such as bowling, tennis, and golf, motivate us to get on our feet, socialize with friends and family, and obtain a few health benefits in the process!

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If video and computer games are not of interest to you, no worries! There are plenty of card and board games that possess many health benefits. Here are a few:

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Bridge: Studies by the National Institute on Aging have shown that playing card games, specifically bridge, can help to reduce the risk of developing cognitive disorders and boost immunity by stimulating the thymus gland, which produces white blood cells.

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Scrabble: Playing scrabble takes some mental concentration in order to puzzle through different word options.  This can put the brain into a meditative state, much like yoga. Taking the time to deliberately relax and engage in some mental exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.

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Bingo: The psychology department at the United Kingdom’s University of Southampton conducted tests that measured mental speed, memory and capacity to absorb specific kinds of information. The results concluded that bingo players are quicker and more accurate than non-bingo players. Research also found that older players outperformed younger players!  Bingo can also improve social well-being and physical health. Bingo provides a safe and fun environment where people can get together, make friends, and laugh, which in turn can help to reduce stress and depression levels.
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2014-11-19T06:19:00+00:00 Uncategorized|