5 health benefits of playing video games

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Some may think of gamers as lazy, but there is actually tons of physical and cognitive health benefits to playing video games.

1. Improved vision

"Don't sit so close to the TV" is common parental warning to protect kids' eyes, but gaming has shown to normalize cataracts and lazy eyes.

Fast-paced games that require attention train players to view things more sharply and improve the ability to discern different shades of grey.

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2. Enhanced motor skills

Sitting in front of a TV with a controller may not seem like the most productive activity for a 4-year-old.

Yet, studies show that preschoolers who played interactive video games have better "object control motor skills."

3. Reduced stress

Video games are a great way to keep your brainy busy without bringing on the burdens of real-world stress.

Gaming has shown to reduce adrenaline response by over 50%.

Video games allow players to vent anger and frustration as well as have a social outlet.

4. Slow the aging process

Senior citizens who play video games have shown to have higher levels of happiness, while non-players report more negative emotions.

"Brain games" with that problem-solving, memory and puzzle elements can be a great benefit to older players.

Just 10 hours of play can lead to increased cognitive functioning in players 50 and older.

5. Better decision-making

Gaming strategy requires critical thinking that translates well in the real world.

Split-second decision-making in video games program players to quickly analyze their surroundings and react.

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In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois freshman, Alex Chapman, left, is critiqued by assistant coach Jose Carrasco as he practices playing the video game “League of Legends” with their collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois student Dean Mitchell practices playing the video game “League of Legends” with his collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois freshmen, Alex Chapman practices playing the video game “League of Legends” with his collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois freshman, Alex Chapman, left, is critiqued by assistant coach Jose Carrasco as he practices playing the video game “League of Legends” with their collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois freshmen, Sondra Burrows, practices playing the video game “League of Legends” with her collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois freshmen from left, Sondra Burrows, Brian Rodonis and Alex Chapman practice playing the video game “League of Legends” with their collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo, Robert Morris University Illinois students practice playing the video game “League of Legends” with their collegiate teammates at their on-campus training facility in Chicago. The small private university is offering hefty scholarships for players of “League of Legends,” which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions nationwide. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2013 file photo, members of Korea's SK Telecom T1 team celebrate with their trophy after defeating China's Royal Club at the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship Final, in Los Angeles. A small private university in Chicago is offering hefty scholarship for players of League of Legends, which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions. Robert Morris University Illinois announced its new program this month and said it recognizes the growing legitimacy of what are known as "eSports." (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill,File)
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2013, file photo, the teams of China's Royal Club, left, and South Korea's SK Telecom T1 compete at the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship Final in Los Angeles. Robert Morris University Illinois, a small private university in Chicago, is offering hefty scholarships for players of League of Legends, which has become one of the most popular games for organized team competitions. The university said it recognizes the growing legitimacy of what are known as "eSports." Starting this fall, the scholarships will cover up to 50 percent of tuition and 50 percent of room and board. That's worth up to $19,000 per student. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
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