Avid gaming is reflected in the lifestyles and body weight of young men

According to a recent demographic study in Oulu, the lifestyles of young men who play a lot of video games are less healthy than those of their peers who are less avid gamers.

Men playing more than three hours a day were less physically active and had unhealthier eating habits. Avid gamers were also more frequently found to be obese (BMI ≥ 30). There was no difference in their alcohol consumption and smoking.

The study was conducted as part of the MOPO project of the University of Oulu and the Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine of the Oulu Deaconess Institute, studying over 3,500 young men who attended national service call-ups in 2009–2013. At the call-ups, the participants completed an extensive health and lifestyle questionnaire and underwent a medical examination and fitness tests. Men who responded to the questions about gaming in 2013, totalling 796, were selected for the study.

The physical activity of young men has decreased and sedentariness has increased. Playing computer and video games is one part of the increased sedentary behaviour. Low physical activity and high sedentariness are connected to obesity, and adolescent obesity frequently leads to adult obesity and health issues. For this reason, it is advisable to identify and increase the awareness of the impact of different forms of sedentary behaviour on lifestyles.

The study was published 30 March in BMC Public Health -journal.

Article: Tuulia Puolitaival, Mirjam Sieppi, Riitta Pyky, Heidi Enwald, Raija Korpelainen & Marjukka Nurkkala. Health behaviours associated with video gaming in adolescent men: a cross- sectional population-based MOPO study. BMC Public Health 2020;20:415.

Last updated: 7.5.2020