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Old People who Play Video Games Report Greater Well-Being: Study

Mar 06, 2013 08:31 AM EST

Playing video games can help old people stay happy, a new study says.

The study was conducted by researchers from North Carolina State University, who found that old people playing video games reported greater emotional well-being than people who didn't play video games.

The study included about 140 people over the age of 63. Researchers asked them whether or not they played video games. These people were then tested for the emotional and mental well-being through various exams.

In the study group, 61 percent said that they played video games occasionally, while 35 percent said that they played the games at least once every week.

Study results showed that emotional well-being was higher in people who played video games, even in people who played them once in a while. People who reported that they never played video games had higher levels of negative emotions and depression.

"The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning. We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults," said Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of a paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State in a news release.

Previous research, published in the journal PLOS ONE stated that having a personal computer can lower the risk of dementia by up to 40 percent in men. A study reported that active video games provide light-activity to senior citizens living in community dwellings. Video dance games that encourage activity can help older adults reach physical activity goals, reported another study.

The present study is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

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