These days science is certainly bringing some interesting studies and researches. Every day we are intrigued by new approaches in different science fields, and one of those interesting findings might as well be this new study related to video games.
Yes, video games are both addictive and beneficial, in some ways, however, have you ever though that Tetris game could help you lose weight or stop smoking? It seems this game can be very helpful.
We know that craving for certain food involves lack of minerals and vitamins in our body, and though it is usually related to emotions, craving and snacking can become a really bad habit. We crave for specific food when we are missing it, however, we also tend to eat when under stress, or depressed, or emotionally unbalanced. Although we need to satisfy our body, not knowing what the real problems are, can make craving our health enemy.
Scientists have conducted a study that was published in the journal Appetite, in which they wanted to reveal the benefits puzzle games have on weight loss and smokers’ cravings. A researchers from Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute asked the participants to specify their cravings, and then to rate them by strengths, vividness and intrusiveness.
“Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualizing what they want and the reward it will bring… Often those feelings result in the person giving in and consuming the very thing they are trying to resist”, said Professor Jackie Andrade, the lead researcher of the study.
One group of the participants then played the Tetris game, while the others were waiting for the game to load, just sitting in front of the screen. After three minutes of playing the participants were asked to rate their cravings again. The results showed that those who played the game for three minutes experienced 24% weaker cravings in comparison to those who did not play the game.
“… by playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades. Feeling in control is an important part of staying motivated, and playing Tetris can potentially help the individual to stay in control when cravings strike… It is something a person can quickly access for the most part whether they are at work or at home, and replaces the feeling of stress caused by the craving itself”, Andrade explained.
Psychologists believe that visualization, that is, visual task (given that cravings are often increased by imagery) is what makes this game so helpful. When one is being visually stimulated, it might boost his or her willpower, and it seems that puzzle games provide that sort of visual stimulation. According to Andrade, a game is a neutral activity that can have a positive impact on our determination and willpower.
One may certainly question this new finding given that video games are also very often the main culprit for weight gain, and numerous studies showed the connection between video games and obesity and weight gain, especially in children.
So, what are you going to do next time you feel the need to eat certain food? Are you going to play Tetris for three minutes?
More research needs to be done related to this subject, however, if you want to know more about food cravings, read our article about 19 reasons why our body needs specific food.
What do you think about this?
Images credit: 123RF Photo Stock, prsa.org, plymuth.ac.uk