Health Issues Related To Excessive Gaming
Video game-related health problems can induce repetitive strain injuries, skin disorders or other health issues. Other problems include video game-provoked seizures in patients with epilepsy. In rare and extreme cases, deaths have resulted from excessive video game playing.
Studies have mainly reported health problems in children, mainly boys. Several specific names have been given to video-game related health problems, for example PlayStation thumb, Nintendinitis and acute Wiiitis; however, the literature does not seem to support these as truly separate disease entities.
Video game consoles linked to medical problems include the PlayStation and the Nintendo Wii, although it is unknown whether certain types are more connected to these problems than others.
Health Problems Related Cases Due To Gaming
Physical signs linked to excessive video game playing include black rings in the skin under the eyes and muscular stiffness in the shoulders, possibly caused by a tense posture or sleep deprivation.
Existing literature on gaming is inconsistent, and studies occasionally produce contradictory results. Some studies show strong correlations between gaming and psychological issues like increased aggression in males, and increased depression in females. Whilst another study claims that girls who gamed were less likely to experience depression but were more likely to get into fights.
In 2009, during a speech to American Medical Association, Obama named video games as a health concern, stating that video games are a key factor in unhealthy sedentary lifestyles.
Health Issues Related To Children Playing Too Much Games
When questioned, children often admit to having physical complaints during video game playing, for example pain in the hands and wrists, back and neck. Ergonomic measures could improve postural problems associated with video game playing.
A 2004 case report in The Lancet, authored by a 9-year-old boy, mentions the Playstation thumb, which features numbness and a blister caused by friction between the thumb and the controller from rapid game play. Using dermoscopy, dermatologists found point-like hemorrhages and onycholysis (letting go of the nail) in a patient who presented with hyperkeratosis.
Nintendonitis has been used to describe tendon injuries (tendinosis) of the hands and wrists in Nintendo players.
A 2010 case report in the New England Journal of Medicine reported a fracture of the base of the fifth metatarsal after using a Wii balanceboard; this was dubbed a Wii fracture.
A further study involving musculoskeletal symptoms and computer use among Finnish adolescents affirmed the association between musculoskeletal symptoms and computer usage. The study claims that daily computer use of 2 hours or more increases the risk for pain at most anatomic sites.
Consistently long sessions of video game play also leads to an increased likelihood of lower back pain, according to a study conducted in a population of school children. Children who played video games for more than 2 hours a day were more inclined to have lower back pain, however the same could not be said for those who watched television instead.
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