Video Games Effect On Heart

In order to determine the effects of video games on the heart, we must look at
several different things. First, we must determine which specific areas we want
to investigate. Looking at increased heart rate and blood pressure, we need to
determine the average maximum heart rate for the age group being tested. We must
determine what factors can cause one's heart rate to increase, and we must look
at the current studies in regard to the various social effects of video and
other electronic games. The main way that we increase our heart rate is through
exercise, and even then health care professionals recognize the importance of
pacing yourself. In order to pace yourself, you must determine your target heart
rate. To do this, you must measure your pulse periodically as you exercise and
stay within 50 to 75 percent of you maximum heart rate. A simple rule of thumb
is if you can talk and walk at the same time, you are not working too hard. If
you can sing and maintain your level of effort, you are probably not working
hard enough. If you get out of breath quickly, you are probably working too
hard, especially if you have to stop and catch your breath. The target heart
rate chart is broken down from twenty years of age to seventy years. The target
heart rate zone of fifty to seventy-five percent for people of twenty years is

100-150 beats per minute with the average maximum heart rate of 100% at 200
beats per minute. The second main contributor to increasing your heart rate is
through stress. Doctors have determined that the problem with stress is that our
body thinks we are still cavemen. There hasn't been time for us to evolve
physiologically from the high-threat, short-duration stress situations that
primitive man faced to the relatively low-threat, long-duration stresses of
modern society. When your body receives a message that you are under stress, it
automatically thinks you are going to do one of two things, fight or run away.

The body does not know how to temper its response to deal with the week-long
pressure of dooming deadlines or other stresses that we deal with daily. This
overkill response, in time, takes a physical toll, especially on the
cardiovascular system. When you are under stress, you are not thriving. Your
blood pressure is elevated, your blood clotting mechanism is working at full
force, your heart is beating faster than normal and your metabolic rate is up.

Keep it for hours and you will be exhausted, for years and you are headed for a
heart attack. Doctors place stress as the secondary risk factor for heart
disease. Stress and video games often go hand in hand. During the last several
decades, video games have emerged as one of the most popular forms of adolescent
entertainment. In the United States alone, video game revenues total ten billion
dollars annually. On the average, children who have home video games play with
them approximately ninety minutes a day. Some of the trends in game playing are
disturbing some observers. A 1993 study asked 357 seventh and eight graders to
list their preferences among five categories of video games. The study found
that fantasy violence topped the list at thirty-two percent. It also find that
boys who play violent games tend to have a lower self-concept in the areas of
academic ability, peer acceptance and behavior. The most interesting is the
possible link between playing violent video games and subsequent aggressive
behavior. Boys aged eight to fourteen are the core audience for video games.

Another study found that a series of three video games played under three
increasing levels of stress elicited progressively higher values of blood
pressure and heart rate. Both the race and gender of the subjects affected the
reactivity. Heavy video game players have a difficult time with the regard to
discharging aggression, and have a lower frustration tolerance. It has been
found that hostility is increased when playing highly aggressive video games and
mildly aggressive games. Subjects playing the high aggression game were much
more anxious than the other subjects. In one study, the researcher found that
not only did the heart rates of the participants increase while playing video
games, but also the rates of those merely watching the game increased. The study
demonstrated clear differences between playing the violent game over a
non-violent game. The study also demonstrated strong differences between playing
and watching the games in violent verses non-violent games. Physiological data
points to large differences in the intensity of physiological response to
violent