Playing video games can help you to LOSE weight: Gamers burn up to 472 calories over a two-hour session – the equivalent of doing 1,000 sit ups, study finds

  • Researchers used smart devices to measure heart rate and calories burned
  • They found men can burn 210 calories/hour, and women 236 calories/hour
  • This suggests that it would take around 57 minutes to burn off a Mars bar

It’s often seen as a lazy activity, but a new study suggests that playing video games can actually help you to lose weight.

Research by Stakester revealed that male gamers can burn a whopping 420 calories over a two-hour gaming session, while female gamers can burn up to 472 calories – the equivalent of doing 1,000 sit ups.

‘We all know that competition increases our heart rate and most of us have experienced the “gaming sweat” that happens when you’re searching for a last-minute goal in FIFA or in a tight spot in Warzone,’ said Tom Fairey, CEO and founder of Stakester.

‘It’s no surprise that this burns calories, but we we’re surprised to see just how many is burned during a 2-hour session, it certainly beats doing 1000 sit ups!’

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Research by Stakester revealed that male gamers can burn a whopping 420 calories over a two-hour gaming session, while female gamers can burn up to 472 calories – the equivalent of doing 1,000 sit ups (stock image)

In the study, the researchers used smart devices to measure the heart rates and calories burned by 50 gamers while they played FIFA and Warzone for two hours, and while they performed sit ups. 

The results revealed that male gamers burned an average of 210 calories per hour during the experiment.

Meanwhile, female gamers burnt off around 236 calories per hour while playing online. 

To put that into context, it suggests that it would take around 57 minutes to burn off a Mars bar (230 calories), 1 hour and 4 minutes to work off a Big Mac (257 calories), and 50 minutes to burn off a medium slice of Domino’s Margherita pizza (200 calories).

This isn’t the first time that research has indicated that playing video games could actually be good for your health.

Last year, a team from Queensland University of Technology uncovered players are up to 21 percent more likely to have a healthier body weight than the average person.

The survey also revealed that esport gamers smoke and drink less than the general public and are significantly more active as a result of certain video games.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) conducted the study by surveying 1,400 gamers from 65 countries in, what they say is, the first study to investigate the BMI (Body Mass Index) status of a global sample of esports players.

QUT esports researcher Michael Trotter said: ‘The findings challenge the stereotype of the morbidly obese gamer.

‘When you think of esports, there are often concerns raised regarding sedentary behavior and poor health as a result, and the study revealed some interesting and mixed results.’

CAN INTERNET GAMING BECOME A MENTAL HEALTH DISORDER?

The World Health Organisation has classified playing video games on the internet as an official mental health disorder.

‘Gaming disorder’ is defined as ‘a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.’

To be diagnosed with gaming disorder, the individual must:

(1)  Experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning

(2) Have experienced this impairment for at least 12 months

WHO advises gamers to be mindful of how much time they spend playing, especially if it is to the exclusion of other daily activities.

They should also be alert to changes in their physical or psychological health and social functioning which could be attributed to gaming.

Source: WHO 

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