December 10, 2009 (Newswire.com) - While it may sound odd recent studies have found that games can serve to reduce overall stress levels and boost mood.
It's long been established that excess stress can lead to shortened life expectancy and in fact, stress has been both directly and indirectly linked to dozens of life threatening health conditions, including heart disease and even cancer.
The direct effects of stress can cause lower the immune system, cause headaches and worsen irritable bowel syndrome, not to mention that there are also studies suggesting links between stress and cancer. However, stress may shorten life expectancy in a secondary manner through harmful behaviors which are triggered by stress. These include habits like overeating (stress eating), excessive drinking and smoking. By finding healthier and less harmful ways to deal with stress you can not only improve your longevity but also your quality of life.
However, new research suggests that it's possible that gaming might actually be a viable alternative for reducing and coping with stress. A McGill University study revealed that after playing an online game the players not only felt less stressed but also that the stress hormone, cortisol, fell by an average of 17 percent in the players. An Eastern Carolina University study conducted over six months and including 134 subjects found computer games were able to reduce stress and boost overall mood. Also, an Oxford University study found that gaming may be effective in dealing with post traumatic stress.
Last but not least, 21 Online Casinos conducted an informal survey of blackjack players which revealed that 74% of the players felt that the games were a way to ease stress and have fun. Those who reported that the game didn't help with stress were generally playing for higher stakes. An earlier survey of roulette players had roughly the same results with 77% finding the game a good way to de-stress.
So, while there is still a lot of research being done on the subject there does seem to be some merit in the theory that computer and even gambling games can relieve stress and tension.