Playing Video Games Tied To Happiness, Emotional Wellness in SeniorsMake room for grandma and grandpa on the couch in front of the big screen.

New research finds that older adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being — what most of us call happiness.

In the study, researchers from North Carolina State University asked 140 people aged 63 and older how often they played video games, if at all.

Sixty-one percent of study participants reported that they played video games at least occasionally, with 35 percent of participants saying they played at least once per week.

Researchers then administered a battery of tests to assess all participants’ emotional and social well-being.

Investigators discovered participants who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of happiness, or well-being.

Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions and a tendency toward higher levels of depression.

The paper is found online in Computers in Human Behavior.

Although the study was correlational and not a cause-and-effect investigation, experts believe the findings are important and should lead to future studies on the role of video games for improving the mental health of elders.

“The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning,” said Jason Allaire,  Ph.D., lead author of the paper.

Source: North Carolina State University

Elderly man playing a video game photo by shutterstock.