The Effects Of Video Games On The

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The Effects Of Video Games On The Heart Essay, Research Paper The Effects of Video Games on the Heart For: Piedmont Academy Science Project November 30, 1999 The Effects of Video Games on the 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