We are always hearing about the negative effects of playing games on our phones, but is mobile gaming really as bad as it's made out to be? Here we look at four health benefits of mobile gaming.

Memory and recall

One of the biggest mobile gaming benefits in terms of health is that it can improve short term memory and recall skills. As well as brain training apps, any of your favourite games that features problem-solving or puzzle components is going to give your memory a workout.

It's even been found that playing some types of video games can improve the brain function of older people. One piece of research found that just ten hours of play was enough to boost cognitive function in players over fifty.

Leadership skills

Certain mobile gaming formats reward skills that are associated with being a good leader, such as providing for online families, communities or even virtual pets. Strategy skills, quick thinking, planning ahead and making choices on behalf of others are all qualities that contribute to being a good leader.

Decision making

Have you been feeling a little indecisive lately? With so many choices available to us in all areas of our lives, it can be easy to feel a little lost. Worrying too much about making the 'right' decision can feel overwhelming and cause us to stop making decisions completely. But by not choosing, we often cause ourselves more difficulties in the longterm. Some games force players to make snap decisions in an instant, this is a skill that once practised online, can be transferred into everyday life.

One piece of research found that gamers who were regularly playing fast-paced games reacted 25% more quickly to questions about an image they were shown compared to non-gamers.

Lower stress levels

For those that detest yoga and struggle with even the concept of meditation, let alone the practice of it, mobile gaming is an entertaining alternative. One study followed gamers over a period of six months and reported that particular games were able to decrease heart rate and adrenaline response significantly.

Obviously, it depends on the type of game you play; a title overloaded with violent graphics and disturbing content is not going to be a good choice for winding down after a long day.

Now that you know all about the health benefits of gaming, the next time your partner or housemate complains that you're spending too much time gaming, you can tell them with confidence that they don't need to worry, it's all part of your new health plan!

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