Study Concludes That Videogames Don't Cause Headaches

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Study Concludes That Videogames Don't Cause Headaches

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A new study in Germany has found no link between the use of videogames and the occurrence of headaches or migraines in teenagers.

It's fairly conventional wisdom that staring at a video screen all day long will eventually give you a headache. Thanks to science, however, we now know that's a bunch of crap. Or, to put it more academically, there appears to be no causal link between the frequency of videogame playing and the incidence of headaches.

"Excessive use of electronic media is often reported to be associated with long-lasting adverse effects on health like obesity or lack of regular exercise, or unspecific symptoms like tiredness, stress, concentration difficulties and sleep disturbances," said Astrid Milde-Busch of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germay. "Studies into the occurrence of headaches have had mixed results and for some types of media, in particular computer games, are completely lacking".

The study involved 1025 teenagers, age 13 to 17, 489 of whom claimed to suffer from headaches while the rest did not. When compared, "no associations were found for television viewing, electronic gaming, mobile phone usage or computer usage." In other words, how much or how little time they spent playing videogames has no correlation to how many, or few, headaches they got.

Amusingly, one form of media consumption was "significantly associated" with headache sufferers: Listening to music. However, as Milde-Busch pointed out, the results aren't actually proof that pounding music causes a pounding head. "It cannot be concluded whether the habit of listening to music is the cause of frequent headaches, or the consequence in the sense of a self-therapy by relaxation," she said.

So while there's still a chance that videogames will make you fat, lazy, stupid, violent and sociopathic, at least they won't give you a headache. Be sure to tell your parents!

Source: Medical News Today, via GamePolitics

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Well that's a relief! Now we just need to get people to really study the whole sociopathic thing. At least my head wont hurt too much to read it.

I'm sorry but comparing interview results barely qualifies as a study, and only an idiot would conclude there is absolutely no link based on word of mouth.

If this sort fo study had said something BAD about games, everyone would be up in arms about "bad science" etc etc, but because it doesn't, the SAME bad science is perfectly acceptable.

*cough*BS*cough*

Yeah......

Oh good! Now I can cut back on my asprin bill!

Whew I can rest my mind on that topic! I thought because I never got a migraine and I play games meant I was some kinda superguy. Seriously I just got a cape and was on my way to the roof, thanks for stopping me!

OT: I never got why they waste grant money on something most gamers could have simply told these people. Do you get a migraine when playing any kind of game "No" sorted.

this was a weird study

EXCUSE ME, but what the frack are you thinking? xD I've gotten plenty of headaches from videogames. Externally, you might not get headaches from videogames. But seriously, I've had plenty of reasons to get a headache like frequent bugs, cheating, difficult bosses, impossible levels, shitty games and all that. They make my head burst out of proportions because of the stress they give me. And yet I still play them <3

Plenty of games have given me migranes...though for content, than general use.

I have a history of Migraines and headaches. It's nice to know my main way to pass the time most likely doesn't cause them.

Of course, randomly picking people doesn't count mean that the rest of the world is the same.
Still would be nice though

Snotnarok:
Whew I can rest my mind on that topic! I thought because I never got a migraine and I play games meant I was some kinda superguy. Seriously I just got a cape and was on my way to the roof, thanks for stopping me!

OT: I never got why they waste grant money on something most gamers could have simply told these people. Do you get a migraine when playing any kind of game "No" sorted.

I do actually. At least on the all-day sessions.

I agree, if you game frequently for short periods of time you won't get a headache.
If you game for 12 straight hours, you probably will.
Even if it's just for not having drunk or eaten in all that time, you will.
I know it, I've done it. It does happen.
I never have headaches, ever, except for when i've gamed for too long or not drunk enough on a hot day.
This study is crap.

Strange, I have no inclination to kill anyone, or even aggressive about anything...but I clearly remember shadow warrior and dark forces giving me a splitting headache every time.

Next thing they will be saying is that games do not cause motion sickness as well. Guess what....CERTAIN ONES DO! ( Half life 2 based games, COD2 )

and guess what the first symptom of motion sickness is....HEADACHE!

DarkSaber:
I'm sorry but comparing interview results barely qualifies as a study, and only an idiot would conclude there is absolutely no link based on word of mouth.

If this sort fo study had said something BAD about games, everyone would be up in arms about "bad science" etc etc, but because it doesn't, the SAME bad science is perfectly acceptable.

Eh it's only a correlational study, nothing's been confirmed or denied really. It'll require a more controlled form for that.

The difference between this and studies that say bad things about games are that they generally use flawed controlled experiments (As in the recent Supernanny one) and state things as proof.

The real problem here would be the article title is misleading as nothing can be "concluded" from a correlational study.
(Re-reading that it sounds a bit personal. I don't mean any offense to you Andy please don't take it that way.)

Self report is also an accepted method for studies like this though. It's flawed but still valid.

Well thats got too be good news. Now we know that something isn't the fault of video games. Thank you Germany.

Targie:

DarkSaber:
I'm sorry but comparing interview results barely qualifies as a study, and only an idiot would conclude there is absolutely no link based on word of mouth.

If this sort fo study had said something BAD about games, everyone would be up in arms about "bad science" etc etc, but because it doesn't, the SAME bad science is perfectly acceptable.

Eh it's only a correlational study, nothing's been confirmed or denied really. It'll require a more controlled form for that.

The difference between this and studies that say bad things about games are that they generally use flawed controlled experiments (As in the recent Supernanny one) and state things as proof.

The real problem here would be the article title is misleading as nothing can be "concluded" from a correlational study.
(Re-reading that it sounds a bit personal. I don't mean any offense to you Andy please don't take it that way.)

Self report is also an accepted method for studies like this though. It's flawed but still valid.

Self report has also been behind many "Games are bad/addictive/evil" studies that the gaming community has been quick to hoot derision at though.

I didn't know that there was any association between games and headaches.

DarkSaber:

Targie:

DarkSaber:
I'm sorry but comparing interview results barely qualifies as a study, and only an idiot would conclude there is absolutely no link based on word of mouth.

If this sort fo study had said something BAD about games, everyone would be up in arms about "bad science" etc etc, but because it doesn't, the SAME bad science is perfectly acceptable.

Eh it's only a correlational study, nothing's been confirmed or denied really. It'll require a more controlled form for that.

The difference between this and studies that say bad things about games are that they generally use flawed controlled experiments (As in the recent Supernanny one) and state things as proof.

The real problem here would be the article title is misleading as nothing can be "concluded" from a correlational study.
(Re-reading that it sounds a bit personal. I don't mean any offense to you Andy please don't take it that way.)

Self report is also an accepted method for studies like this though. It's flawed but still valid.

Self report has also been behind many "Games are bad/addictive/evil" studies that the gaming community has been quick to hoot derision at though.

Fair point. The gaming community on the whole is very bias on what they'll accept as valid. Which is wrong, we do have to look at both sides otherwise we're just giving them ammunition. So I'll agree with you.

I still can't remember reading many studies on games making people violent with the word correlation. That's personally my main criticism on those studies.

Julianking93:
I didn't know that there was any association between games and headaches.

Your avatar is definitely strong evidence for a correlation between anime and headaches though heh heh.

Games can cause motion sickness in some people and that might give you a headache.

So while there's still a chance that videogames will make you fat, lazy, stupid, violent and sociopathic, at least they won't give you a headache. Be sure to tell your parents!

But they will give me a headache about it! Even if I give them facts!

There you have it: Science wins again

This is one of those things where my personal experience is far differant than their studies. I have gotten headaches while playing games/staring at a monitor for a long period of time and noticed them getting worse as I continued the behavior, and getting better when I stopped.

I think they need more than one study to really sell this one to me, along with explaining my "problem" adequetly since it's pretty obvious. Incidently the need to stop playing games and stuff periodically is just common sense as well. Getting headaches from too much looking at a screen is no big thing overall.

well, another stupid fable is put to rest.

My eyes have become severely blood shot though so.... whatever.

Andy Chalk:

So while there's still a chance that videogames will make you fat, lazy, stupid, violent and sociopathic, at least they won't give you a headache. Be sure to tell your parents!

They already know, but now SCIENCE has the answers!

I'm pressing the lame button on this one.

I get absolutely terrible headaches from videogames. I'm playing Deadly Creatures for the Wii right now and the constant flipping of scenery and jerky camera movements make me want to hurl before I get to the next save location. Don't get me started on Portal. Even games I can play without help from ginger have a chance of making me sick if I play hours on end.

The longer I play Deadly Creatures (or any games that makes me dizzy), the sicker I get. If I blindly play and disregard my health, I can suffer a migraine that puts me in bed for a day or two.

And I don't understand the test results. Roughly fifty percent suffered headaches. That doesn't mean that video games have no association with headaches. It means that half of the proposed people that play video games could get a headache.

So my all day sessions with videogames that give me headaches don't actually give me headaches? Am i diseased so that I'm affected by playing too long?
I don't think its the videogames themselves, more the glowing screen. Which has video games on it.

There is, however, a physical link between these activities and headaches, which is posture.

Any activity which causes people to have bad posture, to crane their heads forward and not keep their neck straight, can put pressure on the Carotid sinus or Hering's nerve in the neck, which in turn can cause headaches and migraines.

Therefore activities like sitting in font of a computer screen (especially if you crane your head closer to the screen), playing video games (and hunching forwards in your seat to be closer to the action), using mobile phones (bending your neck down to look at something held in your hands) or even good old fashioned 'headbanging' to music can indirectly cause people to get headaches, by putting pressure on this nerve in the neck.

Obviously there's nothing written into the code of videogames or hardwired into electronic media that directly cause headaches, but it's no myth that some people suffer from headaches and migraines after using them, even if it ultimately caused by bad posture.

That conventional wisdom is correct, even if it isn't clear as to the reasons why.

Also I'm not saying that this is only cause of headaches and migraines, it's only one of the many causes and can be different for each individual depending on their physical make-up, but it does have an indirect connection to videogames.

whats with all theses studies on video games? cant they be studying how to cure cancer?

its more of whats on the screen then the screen itself i think

My brain may now rest easy! Can play as long as I want XD (Not that I didnt already mind you)

duh, its not the game you are playing, it is the eyestrain from playing on a small screen. the solution: get a bigger screen

Thank god that's not what's causing my migrains. My eyestrain, however, I can directly link to staring at a screen all day. Not that I mind, really. I do like video games, and it's a small price to pay for role playing as a Paladin in DDO who has been on 200+ dungeon/wilderness excursions and has only died twice (knock on wood).

thats impossible. like right now, i have recently gotten a headache. after playing TeamFortress2 for 2 hours straight.

Not news.
Never report studies.

Why? Because every one is different to make a buck or make a outside group happy.
Parents to thump bibles want studies showing they are violent ect.
Pro gamers will have a show studies that show they are not violent.

And all studied are skewed before they are even started. I know my college did them. People polled or brought in are not a good idea what the make up of the world is either. One bad batch of people and you can prove my little ponies create violent reactions in midgets.

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