Healthcare Considerations for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, it’s essential that you take proactive steps to ensure your well-being, as well as taking steps to make sure that it’s possible for your employees to do the same for themselves. After all, a business owner who is not healthy is one that is not able to devote sufficient time and energy to building a successful enterprise. Employees who are not in good health are not ones who can be at their most productive when they are working, and may, in fact, be more prone to injuries than their counterparts who are in good health. Beyond that, of course, there are absenteeism problems when workers don’t engage in preventive healthcare and allow conditions to go too long before seeking medical treatment.

These are just a few of the reasons why it makes sound business sense for small business owners to seek quality, affordable health insurance for the members of their workforce (and themselves), as well as looking at ways to incorporate wellness programs into their employee development options. Employees who are informed about the state of their health and who have access to resources and programs designed to help them find out about problems early and to seek preventive treatment in a manner that is manageable and affordable are, entirely just, likely to be better and more productive workers in the long run.

With so many advances in medical care, from non-surgical skin cancer treatment to outpatient surgeries for many conditions that once required lengthy and expensive hospital stays, it only makes sense to put a system in place that encourages employees to seek medical attention early rather than putting off requesting assistance from a medical professional. Until a condition has gone on so long that it has impacted their work performance and personal life, as well as getting to the point where it requires more time to consume, costly and challenging treatment options. Then if it was caught and treated early – or if steps were taken to prevent it from developing in the first place.

Posted on

Health and Safety Tips while using a Computer Screen

Many people spend the better part of their day in front of a computer screen. It can be in the form of a desktop computer, smartphone or laptop. It is even rare to find a home or office which does not have a computer.

So for health tips, we are going to think about four factors which significantly influence our computer usage. These are: how many hours a day do you spend in front of your computer? Do you take breaks when using the computer? Do you have other work which will provide cracks when using the computer? What is your sitting position when using a computer? These are some of the questions which we will answer to enable you to have a more healthier lifestyle when using your computer.

Prolonged exposure to screens can be harmful and can pose a significant health risk such as back pains, sore wrists, and headaches. These symptoms can be highlighted through repetitive work, incorrect screen settings, uncomfortable working posture and carrying out tasks for long periods of time without a break.

Some tips which you can use when working on your computer:

  • Whenever working with a computer the first aspect to consider is your sitting position. Avoid sitting in a bent position and if possible find an ergonomic chair and a desk which will have you sitting in an upright position. The screen should be directly in front of your face without when sitting upright. This will eliminate any chances of getting back pains and wrists soars.
  • Make sure that you are using a screen which is large enough so that you do not strain your eyes looking at contents. The screen should also have setting adjusting controls which will enable you to change the light being emitted from the screens.
  • Take short breaks of 5 to 10 minutes after a 60-minute session in front of your computer. This will help you adjust to the surrounding light before you can begin another session in front of your computer screen.
  • Finally, make sure that you take regular eye tests to ensure that the screen is not affecting your eyes. A visit to the optician will help you know if the light from a computer screen is affecting you.

healthcare infographic

Posted on

Are you Ready for the Internet of Things?

Over 1 billion websites are registered on the internet today, and each day that number grows by approximately 140,000. Since the internet first became available to the public in the early 1990s, the way we transmit information—and the kind of information we search for—has changed dramatically. In seconds, we send travel advice, scientific articles, cooking recipes, and GPS mapping details around the world, for billions of people to access. The world is at our fingertips it seems and fresh data is endless.

In more recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of social media websites and apps that make it easy to connect with family and friends around the world. We have the chance to connect with people we haven’t talked to or seen in years.

Meanwhile, we also share photos, send messages, and update statuses about some of the most personal aspects of our lives: wedding photos, baby announcements, graduations and favorite vacations. It’s a great way to keep up with loved ones who can witness these major milestones thousands of miles away.

But we also must be aware that the information we share on the internet, especially on social media sites, is never as private as we might imagine, even with such misleading menu headings as “privacy settings.” Such privacy settings come with fine print that may leave you a bit wary.

You should never assume that anything you put online will be fully hidden or protected.

The most common forms of internet privacy risks include phishing, pharming, spyware, and malware. Any one, or combination of these viruses, puts your computer at risk as well as the majority of your private information, like banking information, sensitive emails,  and social media.

It’s important to consider the personal information you’re sending out into the world of the internet, and the consequences that might follow. Who exactly is laying eyes on your content? And are you ready to protect yourself?


Strengthening Passwords

When it comes to internet safety, you’re more in control than you may think. The easiest way to begin is by ensuring that all of your accounts use secure passwords.

Many of us get lazy, using the same password for multiple accounts or using common words or phrases in our passwords. However,  when we do this, our risk for getting hacked increases. Especially when it comes to email and banking accounts, it’s vital that we construct impenetrable passwords.

There are some simple protocols we can follow to ensure our passwords are air tight.

Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and a combination of upper and lowercase letters, or as specified by the website registration guidelines. It’s best to come up with passwords that do not include full words.

As an added security measure, many websites may call on two-form authentication. That is to say, in addition to providing a password, you must also validate your account through a code sent via email or phone.


Straying from Harmful Spyware

Watching out for spyware is crucial for the security of your personal information and for your computer.

Common signs of spyware include frequent pop-up windows, unfamiliar toolbars, a change in search engine browser, strange error messages, or overall, the functions of your computer functioning slower than usual.

All are reasons for concern.

Therefore, it’s important to invest in reputable anti-spyware. Common examples include Malwarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware.

Keep free of spyware by deleting spam emails, avoiding suspicious pop-up windows, and limiting free downloads as soon as they appear.


Using a Secure Browser

Simply browsing with an insecure browser can put your computer at risk. This is one of the major methods hackers use to access your data and steal sensitive information.

You can take some simple steps to make sure you don’t fall victim to this type of cyber attack.

First, pay close attention to the website’s address.Those that begin in https:// (the “s” which means  “secure sockets layer”) are considered safe websites. For banking matters or other personal business conducting on the internet, this is an important step to take.

Second, set all browsing sessions to private. Although many of us get in the habit of saving our browsing history, it’s best not to, in order to keep our browsing history discrete.

Third, utilizing a search engine recommended by antivirus companies, and keeping up to date with the latest version is the surest way to prevent hacking.


Not Sharing Personal Information over Free Wi-Fi

It’s easy to get distracted when working at a cafe, quickly checking your email or bank account. However, when you do so, you inadvertently put your personal information at risk.

While VPN (virtual private networks) are an option, it’s always best to steer clear altogether of conducting financial inquiries or other sensitive business while on free public wi-fi networks.


Being Smart with Social Media

The best way to keep yourself protected online is to think carefully about the personal information you put out onto the internet. Each day, we’re bombarded with photos and life updates of family and friends, of the most personal details.

While we can set our account settings to private, social media platforms can never truly ensure that the personal data you put out into the world will not get picked up by an unwanted source.

Simply refrain from putting such personal information out into the world. Keeping a boundary between your real life and your online life will prevent such harmful hacking.

We turn to the internet for just about everything nowadays. It’s difficult for most of us to think back to the days before the internet, which meant acquiring information in a totally different way. However, this major advancement in technology also comes at a price.

With a few small modifications, we can alter and better manage the information we share on the internet. Ultimately, these changes protect not only our financial and business information but out privacy and human rights at large.

Posted on

How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Health Care?

The world of health care can be a confusing one. From complex conditions about pre-existing conditions to deductibles and covered care, sifting through the legalities and logistics of healthcare can make your head spin. But don’t let yourself get too dizzy.

Luckily, there’s a nearly endless supply of sources on the internet to help health care patients better understand their diagnosis as well as possible treatment options. From personal blogs to professional healthcare insurance websites to official government websites offering up advice, readers can really soak up information and use it to their benefit.

In fact, the internet is actually changing the way patients, doctors, nurses, and researchers contribute to the conversation on healthcare around the world today.


Interactive Web Projects

While scientific studies are almost always accompanied by reports and scientific published articles, that information does not reach the general public as easily. Dense scientific terminology often distracts from important discoveries that can benefit the general population.

Now more than ever, scientists are turning to the internet to share important findings with regular people in a more accessible, digestible manner.

One of these methods is through interactive web projects, which essentially show scientific findings rather than talking about them in scientific journals.

For example, the Ann Myers Medical Center has used such technology to demonstrate to women how to conduct their own breast exam.

Others, like Tom Brand, executive director of the Norcross, Ga., consulting firm Avid Design, suggests using this technology for doctors to talk directly with potential patients online to discuss how specific surgical procedures are conducted. As he sums up, a text outlining a procedure does not connect with people in the same way hearing a doctor’s voice, and seeing his/her face will resonate with potential patients.


Patient Blogging

Some scientists are calling on patients themselves to help spread the word about advancements in procedures, technology, and results. Who better to hear from, than the patients affected most closely? That’s what researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota did. They announced a study regarding Celiac disease on Twitter, then reached out to some of the Tweet’s followers (of whom also had Celiac disease) to ask if they’d consider blogging about the topic.

No one can deny this offers a unique first-hand perspective on treatment and health care.

However, opponents of the recent innovation wonder whose opinion is worthy of professional advice when it comes to scientific study.

Still, the scientific community must brainstorm how to appeal to a world of internet users that are hungry for fresh perspectives, easy-to-read content, with clear opinions and concise explanations.


Promotion through Social Media and Videos

Other hospitals, scientists, and researchers have turned to social media to get the word out about new studies and developments.

The range of healthcare information included in these types of social media outlets varies, including information about a hospital’s additions or developments, patient recovery success stories, or even individual responses about individual health-related inquiries.

The main advantage in approaching healthcare news in this way is that hospitals and researchers are able to reach large masses of people, free, within a matter of seconds.

Little by little, social media is putting a face to healthcare which is often explained in a sterile, impersonal manner.


Potential Challenges

Of course, any advancement in technology also comes with its setbacks and challenges.

The major setbacks when it comes to discussing serious medical conditions and health risks is that the internet does not ward off against inaccurate information. Unfortunately, the case is many times the opposite.

Anyone in front of a computer can become an instantaneously published author, no matter the credibility or lack thereof.

Especially when it comes to sensitive medical information, patients become prone to misinformation or incomplete information that may guide them astray when diagnosing or assessing potential remedies.

Secondly, patients may believe they are sharing personal health information privately through messaging or other platforms. However, content published on the internet should never be trusted as completely private.

While the technology online surrounding healthcare is yet to be perfected, nevertheless, it’s revolutionizing the way we learn and share new ideas that can change people’s lives all around the world.

Posted on

What can the Internet of Things Do?

Need a Halloween costume idea? Google it. Searching for that perfect Sunday family dinner? Check it out online. Wondering the time difference between San Francisco and Tokyo? No problem. In a matter of seconds, you’ll find your answer on the web.

We’ve become accustomed to finding solutions to our most pressing questions and concerns almost instantaneously on the internet. At times, it can feel like a bottomless pit of infinite information that we almost forget is created by humans all around the world, all day and every day.

In fact, there’s so much information, that we can start to feel overwhelmed, unsure where to start and which information to rely on. A couple simple tools can help us use information on the internet to our advantage, no matter if we’re looking for professional advice, conducting business, or merely surfing the web for the latest cat memes.

Finding information that is credible and up-to-date is a second major consideration. Depending on subject matter, recently published information may be additional criteria.

Let’s consider how to make the most of both when using the internet of things in our daily lives.


Researching Information

If you’ve ever had some of those debates around the dinner table, about the main actors of the tv show Hunger Games, or the most common languages spoken in the world, or the amount of time it takes to travel between Boston and San Francisco, chances are you’ve called on Google to serve as referee.

Billions of websites each with unique pieces of information are at our fingertips, waiting to be uncovered. In the last decade, we’ve become so accustomed to looking up any wandering doubt or pressing concern online with a couple simple clicks.

The possibilities can seem truly endless.

However, excessive information often leads to the unfortunate side-effect of misinformation, since material found online can be produced by anyone with a thought and computer access. It’s important, when calling on the internet for simple answers or complex solutions after careful research, that we take into account credibility and objectivity.

There’s a simple checklist we can run through in our heads to ensure the content we find online is reliable.

First, locate the author of the page. Is the name clearly displayed? Can you easily link to other examples of this author’s other works? Can you find a bio on the author, and does she or he appear credible to write on the given topic?

Second, determine the intended audience of the website. Who are the targeted demographics? Does the author have a special agenda in addressing this audience? What’s the overall purpose of the article: to inform? to teach? to persuade? or to sell an idea/product?

Third, assess the website’s credibility. Does the author appear biased? Is the language he or she uses to express ideas latent with opinions? Is the website approved by a partnering company or organization?

Fourth, check the site’s accuracy using some cross-checking. Do the website’s claims align with other scholars or experts in the related field? Is the writer’s point of view consistent? Does the author’s writing style display basic functions of grammar and spelling accuracy? Is the information up-to-date/was the article recently published?

Lastly, look for relevant links. Are the links accurately placed, and do they relate to pertinent information? What types of sources are linked? Do these sources also display accurate and reliable information?


Creating Content

Of course, we don’t only come to the internet to find information, but to contribute new information as well. This takes on many forms, from scholarly reports, to blog posts, to product reviews, video clips, and even social media.

In a matter of seconds, we can become self-published authors in this sense. This is how small blogs of 10 followers grown to platforms of millions of subscribers. It’s how you keep far-away family and friends up-to-date with your life. It’s how you, one person alone, can contribute to advancements in the scientific community that will benefit people all around the world.

Although it’s hard to fully imagine the number of people we can reach when we create online content, we must take some necessary precautions.

Protect personal photos and videos with privacy settings accounts and share only with known people, family, and friends. Better yet, any photos you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing at work with your co-workers or boss are best not to upload on social media. Even with privacy settings, you can never be too sure what other internet users can get their hands on.

Submit professional or scholarly content to websites with a credible reputation that safeguard against plagiarism. Inversely, you can run your own content through website’s with the main function to detect plagiarism, to make sure you haven’t inadvertently copied someone else’s work.

When creating a blog, rely on your own photos, or turn to professional photo websites which clearly state the rights owners of the photos have allowed.


Sharing Findings

That crazy cat meme, cheap flights, or vegetarian recipes we’ve found online can be hard to keep to just ourselves.

Websites are making it easier than ever for us to share content with other internet users, through social media or email most often. It’s a win-win scenario, where we’re able to easily pass along information to a friend, meanwhile, the website essentially has hired free promoters to share its content.

On the other hand, here is where users can be a catalyst for accurate information or misinformation. We’ve shortened or internet attention span to the point where sometimes we only read a catchy article title, without reading it fully through. When we share articles after reading only a small portion of it (or nothing), we risk spreading false information.

When in doubt, the same standards of credibility and accuracy we look for when researching our own content should be applied to content shared with family and friends.


Drawing Conclusions

Based on the information we’ve researched online, or based on feedback from our own produced content (blog comments, links, etc.) we can draw separate conclusions about which information will serve us best.

Each reader will approach online content in a new way, and will ultimately use his or her own judgment to reach a final resolution.

Posted on

Are eCigarettes Bad for Your Health?

So you’ve finally made the move to quit a bad habit. Of course, that’s a great start. But quitting smoking cold turkey isn’t always smooth sailing. Many smokers determined to quit will turn to eCigarettes to lessen withdrawal symptoms and ultimately ease into a smoke-free daily life. The question is, what are the effects of these eCigarettes in the long run? Is it actually possible they’re doing more harm than good?

Let’s take a closer look to determine how these eCigarettes actually function, and what kind of effect they bring about.

eCigarettes include e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah, and e-cigars known as electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS. Along with a heating element, a chemical-filled aerosol is released containing nicotine or other similar substances. Often the fluid used in eCigarettes are mixed with propylene glycol as well as flavorings or colorings.


Heart Problems

eCigarettes, which contain a reduced but active amount of nicotine, can be harmful to people with heart conditions. Nicotine contributes to high blood pressure, fast heart rate, endothelial dysfunction, and atherosclerosis. In severe cases, these symptoms can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and even death.

Although eCigarettes contain smaller portions of nicotine than regular cigarettes and therefore are a safer choice, they can’t be considered 100% safe.


Damage to Unborn Babies

Just as pregnant women should avoid smoking, they should also steer clear of eCigarettes for similar reasons. Nicotine can inadvertently cause damage to the fetus, causing permanent damage to the baby’s development.

The most common results are low birth weights, preterm delivery, and stillbirths.

Expecting mothers who are weaning themselves off of cigarettes should turn to other forms of quitting that do not involve nicotine.


Damage to Arteries

Nicotine not only damages your heart’s functions but your arteries and blood pressure. As your blood pressure and heart rate race, as your arteries narrow and the walls harden. As a result, your blood becomes more likely to clot.

Even more so, damaged arteries cause stress on your heart, and ultimately may lead to stroke or heart attack.


Lung Disease

Lung problems can appear in newborns as well as adults, as a result of the mother or individuals using products containing nicotine, like eCigarettes. Flavored eCigarettes usually contain the chemical Diacetyl. This butter-like flavored chemical is said to cause a lung disease, called popcorn lung, as reported by Erika Sward, assistant vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association.



You may be surprised that nicotine is not the only chemical to be wary of when it comes to using eCigarettes. Formaldehyde, many times used in building materials and another ingredient using in antifreeze is major area for concern.

While the full scope of these ingredients is not yet known, what is for sure, is that these harmful materials may lead to cancer and other related diseases.


Secondhand Emissions from E-cigarettes?

eCigarettes are smoke-free, which can sometimes be misleading. As more and more public places become smoke-free, people who use eCigarettes assume they’re not putting others at risk. The truth is, while eCigarettes do not emit smoke, they do emit other chemical substances such as formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens).

As public spaces increasingly become smoke-free, anecdotal reports show some people are attempting to use e-cigarettes indoors and in public spaces which are smoke-free, like bars, restaurants, and even public transit.

While e-cigarettes do not contain smoke, they do expose others to secondhand emissions. Two studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens).

Accordingly, the American Lung Association has supported banning eCigarettes from public spaces. In addition, nine states have prohibited eCigarettes in spaces where smoking is already banned.


Is it Worth the Risk?

Quitting smoking all at once is not realistic for many heavy smokers, which makes methods of slowly weaning off—like via eCigarettes—attractive.

However, after close analysis by the FDA, smokers should turn to other methods of quitting before getting started with eCigarettes. Ultimately, the full effects of eCigarettes still remain unknown.

For many smokers, using eCigarettes either gets them hooked on this reduced source of nicotine, while many smokers never fully stop smoking regular cigarettes.

Posted on

Top 5 Apps to Monitor Your Health

Committing to healthier lifestyles with more exercise and more nutritional food always sounds like a good idea, but can sometimes be a drag at the start. The good news is it doesn’t have to be.

And what better tool to help us accomplish the task than our mobile phones, which we have with us all day long, and notice within minutes if it’s going missing?

This is where the clever idea to combine a healthy lifestyle with our do-all mobile phones comes in. A wide range of mobile phone apps today will help you create a food and exercise regimen that you can stick to in the long-term in ways that are fun and dynamic.

Here are some of the top rated mobile apps to help monitor your health. Take a look at what will be your perfect fit.


  1. Cody

Consider this app motivation made simple. Unlike many fitness and health apps that focus on carefully logging data about food intake and daily fitness regimen, Cody relies on a different type of motivation: peer pressure, you could say.

The Cody app helps you to connect with a community of people with similar goals of getting in shape and creating a healthier lifestyle—the Facebook of exercise. What could be better than having a workout buddy—or a couple hundred—at just a touch of the button?

Not only will you get advice from other workout partners, you’ll also have access to workout plans created by real professionals, many of which are free.

Here, copy-cats are encouraged. Learn what workouts are working best for your friends, and which you might want to try out yourself.

Cost: Free. Available for iOS.


  1. Pact

Here’s where things get real. If you’re an infamous slacker when it comes to exercise commitment (or any other kind of commitment), maybe it’s time to try something new. Put your money where your mouth is with the Pact app.

With this app, you’ll actually bet against yourself, offering up money to meet your health goals.

Increase your fitness levels, accelerate personal weight loss, check in at the gym, snap photos of your meals, and connect with partner health apps such as RunKeeper, Fitbit, Jawbone Up, MapMyRun, and MyFitnessPal.

Meanwhile, you’ll be managing the money you have on the line, and get notifications as you earn money.

The Pact app boasts that participants have reached 95% of their exercise goals.

Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.


  1. MyFitnessPal

Type A personality types rejoice. The MyFitnessPal app has been designed with exactly you in mind.

Track your food, given a database of over 6 million foods in the database. Rather than manually inputting caloric data and other nutritional facts, this app automatically calculates for you. Even further, the app automatically syncs with recipes and popular restaurants that makes managing your diet simple.

Logging your exercise regimen is equally user-friendly. You’ll have over 350 exercises to choose from including running, biking, swimming, reps, and yoga and can automatically connect to over 50 apps.

MyFitnessPal is compatible with such apps as Including Fitbit, MapMyFitness, Strava, Jawbone UP, Garmin, Misfit, Withings, Runkeeper, Runtastic, HealthKit, and UA Record.

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Desktop


  1. Sleepbot

Your first thought when diving into a healthy lifestyle may be to jump on the treadmill or take up a strict diet regimen. The truth, however, is that none of these steps are possible without first adhering to a healthy sleep schedule.

Thankfully, there’s an app to help you accomplish just that.

Sleepbot helps you manage sleep alarms, customize your alarm (including motion tracking), produce sleep graphs and statistics.

Additional features include Movement Tracker, Sound Recorder, Sleep Debt Log, Data Analysis, Trend Graphs, and Sync to

Available on: iOS and Android


  1. Zombie Run

“I don’t run because it’s too boring” you’ve said once or twice before. Running outside or in a gym, either way, you can’t find the motivation or the interest. But running doesn’t have to be boring, and won’t be when zombies are out to get you.

When you’re running for your life, you hardly need an extra motivation. Here you’re at the center of your own zombie action movie, playing the role of leading hero. In the background, you’ll hear pulsing audio music, sure to get your blood pumping. At the mercy of the zombies, you’re not only running to save yourself but a number of other innocent survivors as well.

Take this app wherever you go, at any speed.

Pro versions (paid) are also available.

Free. Requires Android 4.0 or above

Posted on

Are Video Games Good for Your Health?

Ever sat down expecting to spend 20 or 30 minutes at the video game console, only to check your watch 3 or 4 hours later? You wouldn’t be the first person to say so. It’s true, video games can hook you in fast. And now more than ever, with so many different types of games and many different platforms—including computer games and mobile apps—it’s  easy to get sucked in fast without realizing it.

The question is, as children and many adults fill their schedules more and more with these kinds of games: what will be the long-term consequences?

For years, the scientific and childhood development communities have tried pegging down exactly what kind of consequences come along with playing these types of games. Even beyond all the speculation that video games, computer games, and mobile may be detrimental to your health, is it also possible they provide some benefits?

Let’s take a closer look at just how video games can improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.


Strengthening Your Brain

If someone’s ever told you to cut it out with the gaming because it’s killing brain cells, maybe it’s time you have them take a look at this study:

Under the instruction of German neuroscientists, 23 participants were asked to play Super Mario 64 at least 30 minutes a day for two months. At the conclusion of the study, MRI results showed that many participants experienced growth in various parts of the brain.

For example, some players’ MRI scans showed development in the right pre-frontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls organization of material. Other players improved their precise movement and motor skills, as evidenced by a change of the cerebellum. Yet others had development in the hippocampus, responsible for mental mapping and spatial awareness.

As it turns out, just about every area of the brain is activated when playing these types of games—all of which develop skills that can be used in the real world.


Slowing Down the Aging Process

Who do you picture when you think about the ultimate gamer? Well, the image of the fifteen-year-old gamer boy in a dirty bedroom is changing. That is to say, the world of gaming is casting its net further than ever before. Today, children as young as two and three and adults into their eighties and nineties are finding games that suit their interests, talents, and skill level.

In fact, when it comes to the elderly in particular, many care centers for the elderly are beginning to utilize video games as a way to keep older people active, and their minds sharp.

A study including 681 healthy individuals 50 years or older concluded that a mere 10 hours of video games could delay the natural decline of memory and other cognitive abilities.

The mental energy exerted for these kinds of games is easily transferable in the elderly and can lead to ease of mental function in daily activities.


Coping with Mental Illness

The mental benefits of video games don’t end with those physical attributes. As scientists have long thought, there is a clear link between mental and emotional stability. Strengthening of one can also help strengthen the other. Sometimes, there’s no better way to combat mental illness such as depression or anxiety than by examining the situation from a fresh perspective.

In a 2012 study conducted by New Zealand scientists, 168 teenagers with the previous diagnosis of depression were split into two groups: those who would receive routine counseling and those who would experiment with a new video game SPARX (smart, positive, active, realistic and x-factor thoughts).

In this novel video game concept, teens created avatars with the goal of crushing “gloomy negative automatic thoughts”. In addition, teens were periodically given facts about depression and strategies fro coping throughout the game. The results were dramatic. At the conclusion, about 44% of the SPARK group reported no further symptoms of depression, while the control group (who received traditional counseling) experienced only a 22% reduction in those with depression.

So while everyone with a mental illness will find different ways of coping, why not give video games their fair shot too?

Improving Motor Skills & Understanding of 3-D Dimensions

Video game technology is always advancing. Today, games feel realer than ever because of sophisticated graphics and special effects.

Besides a better gaming experience, this enhanced 3-D experience, like in first person shooter games, strengthens players’ perceptions of space. Players gain a heightened sense of direction, as well as mental mapping.

In addition, these games can improve players motor skills as well as eyesight, because of sensitivity contrast.


Building a Community

Let’s dispel the myth once and for all that gamers game alone, are anti-social, or take up interests that most people can relate to. In many cases, it’s just the opposite. Video games now accessible on mobile phones, for example, are appealing to people on the go, people waiting online, people relaxing with a cup of coffee—just about everyone.

It may surprise you to hear that nearly 1.2 people play video games worldwide. Finally, these groups of gaming enthusiasts are getting some of the attention they deserve. They’re sharing ideas and building their skills together.

Through gaming, frequent players get to meet others with similar hobbies and interests. Whether it’s in a competitive setting or just some friendly back-and-forth, gamers can quickly find a community that they can relate to. Some gamers meet up at conferences, while some actually first interact through games online which call on team members to interact via headsets, cameras, etc. and slowly build up a friendship based on this common interest.

Little by little, these communities are changing the way the world look at them.

Farewell to the days of gamers framed as outcasts or obsessives. The tables have been turned as scientists take a closer look to reveal that video gaming has its long list of benefits after all. While these advantages are unique to each person, it’s safe to say that a little gaming here and there can go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy.


Posted on