PS2 News: Survey: Most Gamers Are Overweight And Slightly Depressed - PS2 News

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Survey: Most Gamers Are Overweight And Slightly Depressed

Yeah, I know; the picture and the title are totally messed up. But hey, we figured we'd toss up the ideal picture of a gamer to soften the blow.

According to a recent CDC survey, the average gamer is about 35 years of age and is also overweight and slightly depressed. Now, before we get into it, we'd like to point out that at this particular moment in time in this country, a whole lot of people are overweight and depressed. But anyway, this study consisted of 552 participants aged 19 to 90 and it was designed to prove or disprove the hypothesis that gamers tend to have a higher body mass index and a "greater number of poor mental health days."

Unfortunately, while the results weren't conclusive, the hypothesis was indeed proved correct and the study helped to "reveal important patterns in health-related correlates of video-game playing and highlights avenues for future research." For the women involved, researchers suggested game playing might be a form of "digital self-medication," as they are often effective at "mood management through their media content choices." On the men's side, it seems male players tend to "spend more time using the Internet and rely more on Internet-community social support." And not surprisingly, they have "a higher BMI and lower extraversion."

Therefore, the researchers concluded that sedentary behaviors and other forms of physical inactivity as a child often extends into adulthood, and both males and females will spend more time seeking friendship in digital worlds (i.e., the Internet). In a commentary on these results, Dr. Brian A. Primack of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine asks:"

"How do we simultaneously help the public steer away from imitation playlike activities, harness the potentially positive aspects of video games and keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society?"

He goes on to say that regular ol' playground games, like "Hide and seek and freeze tag," are "still probably what we need most." Well, we're going to agree with that, and sadly, we're really not surprised by these findings. Stick around GameStop for a full day and you won't be surprised, either. So our suggestion is the same one the doctors will give: c'mon, people...move! For the record, nobody here at PSXE fits this unfortunate mold for a gamer, which means it ain't inevitable. ;)

8/19/2009 Ben Dutka

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