San Diego, CA, August 18, 2009 While video gaming is generally perceived as a pastime for children and young adults, research shows that the average age of players in the United States is 35. Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University and Andrews University analyzed survey data from over 500 adults ranging in age from 19 to 90 in the Seattle-Tacoma area on health risks; media use behaviors and perceptions, including those related to video-game playing; and demographic factors. In an article published in the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, they found measurable correlations between video-game playing and health risks.
Participants reported whether they were players or nonplayers, and weekly usage was collected. Internet usage was assessed, as was the relative importance of the Internet as a social support. The personal determinants examined in this study included self-assessments of depression, personality, health status, physical and mental health, body mass index (BMI), and poor quality of life. Immersion in media environments was evaluated using the participants' estimates of the time they spent during a typical week surfing the Internet and watching TV, including videos and DVDs. The SeattleTacoma area was selected because of its size (13th largest US media market) and its Internet usage level is the highest in the nation.
A total of 45.1% of respondents reported playing video games. Female video-game players reported greater depression and lower health status than female nonplayers. Male video-game players reported higher BMI and more Internet use time than male nonplayers. The only determinant common to both female and male video-game players was greater reliance on the Internet for social support.
Writing in the article, Dr. James B Weaver III, PhD, MPH, National Center for Health Marketing, CDC, Atlanta, states, "As hypothesized, health-r
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