Video games may improve mental health

It turns out video games aren't just for children anymore. Results of a study released earlier this year found that senior citizens who regularly played "exergames" improved symptoms of subsyndromal depression (SSD), reports.

The study focused on a group of 19 people between the ages of 63 and 94 who played three 35 minute sessions a week.

Exergames, like those commonly used in the Nintendo Wii, combine gameplay with exercise.

Video games may improve mental health The study is good news for memory care as it showed that playing the games had a positive effect on mood and mental health. While physical activity has been shown to improve depression, only five percent of seniors get enough, the news source reports.

"More than one-third of the participants had a 50-percent or greater reduction of depressive symptoms. Many had a significant improvement in their mental health-related quality of life and increased cognitive stimulation," study leader Dilip V Jeste told the news source.

Individuals with SSD have symptoms that fall short of clinical depression however the to the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that around 5 million senior citizens suffer from the illness.

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