Do Video Games Affect Heart Rate?


Studies have found that video games do have an effect on the heart rate. As reported in Science Daily, a prominent study from 2008 finds that violent video games affect both heart rate and sleep patterns in young boys from ages 12 to 15. A 2013 study finds the same results with exposure to violent video games affecting the heart rates of boys from ages 13 to 15.

Malena Ivarsson and colleagues of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University conducted the 2013 study published in the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society, Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine. The study found that teens show blunted physical and psychological responses to playing a violent game.The study found significant differences in heart rate variability, the measure of beat-to-beat variations in the heart rate. The most prominent studies concerning the effects of video games involve young male subjects and typically focus on the effects of violent video games. They also tend to look at short-term exposure to violent video games, meaning that subjects involved in the study play these games for two or more hours in a session. Furthermore, these studies do not focus on video game usage over a longer time period such as over the course of a few years.