After having wisdom teeth surgery many people may just want to lie on the couch and possibly watch TV. However, as you begin to feel better perhaps you think about playing some video games until you make a full recovery. Billions of people across the world currently play video games. However, very few of these gamers will expect to gain any real benefits and in fact may think there are more negative effects. Even so, scientists are increasingly showing that gaming can actually be good for your health in a variety of ways, and that video games can have a multitude of physical and cognitive benefits.
Gaming has been used in healthcare to treat a variety of disorders. For example, researchers showed that, in those that had recently undergone trauma or had been through a surgical procedure, gaming could help them recover more quickly, and that those who had faced trauma were less likely to face flashbacks to the traumatic event. Though it may seem unlikely, there are a multitude of applications of gaming in the field of healthcare, from treating attention disorders such as ADHD with Tetris to improve concentration, to treating PTSD in soldiers after combat with immersive virtual reality games that allowed them to positively relive their trauma.
Gaming has also been show to increase cognitive health. Researchers have shown that playing video games can increase grey matter in the areas of the brain associated with important skills such as spatial awareness and planning, and that games can even increase memory capacity and recall, increase concentration span and focus, and even can help to alleviate some mental health problems, meaning that people do not have to resort medication.
There have often been moral reasons for parents to want their children to avoid gaming, which often focus on violence in games. There is also wide belief that gaming causes people to live more sedentary lifestyles. While there continue to be some negatives of gaming (which often receives the most coverage) it is also important to consider the positive benefits. See the below infographic from Computer Planet to learn more about the health benefits of gaming.