The video game trap

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Agroup of econ­o­mists re­leased a pa­per re­cently sug­gest­ing young men are work­ing fewer hours be­cause they are spend­ing so much time play­ing video games. Video games might also help ex­plain a study last month from Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity re­searchers who said to­day’s 19-year-old is as seden­tary as a 60-year-old.

(In­ac­tive life­styles, obe­sity and the opi­oid epi­demic have com­bined to end a streak of life ex­pectancy in­creases.)

The econ­o­mists found that Amer­i­can men 21 to 30 were work­ing 203 fewer hours a year than the same age group did in 2000. Part of that dif­fer­ence is be­cause gam­ing and so­cial iso­la­tion pre­vent some men from even en­ter­ing the work­force. Some men, re­searchers be­lieve, limit the amount of time they work so they can play games.

Choos­ing so­cial iso­la­tion or gam­ing over a ful­fill­ing job or friend­ship de­prives a per­son of sup­port sys­tems that could help when deal­ing with an ad­dic­tion. And de­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and un­em­ploy­ment pre­vent the econ­omy from reach­ing peak ef­fi­ciency, thereby hurt­ing others who are fully en­gaged in the work­force. Amer­i­cans need to get back to mov­ing their bod­ies.

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