The act of sitting in front of the telly for prolonged periods is usually frowned upon by experts, and we've lost count of the number of times that violent games have been blamed for some of society's more depressing ills.

But there's a school of thought which says interactive entertainment actually has a very positive impact on our general wellbeing.

Below you'll find six conditions which, according to recent research, can be tackled with a good old waggle of the joystick.


Lazy eye

Tetris Lazy Eye treatment image

Considered by many to be the most perfect game ever made, Tetris has been ported to practically every gaming system since its release in the 80s.

But Tetris doesn’t just give your thumbs and brain a solid workout, it has also been found to provide a cure for Amblyopia – more commonly known as lazy eye.

Canadian doctors made the claim in 2013, saying that the people tested saw a much larger improvement in their vision than those who were using the traditional ‘patching’ technique, where the stronger eye is covered in order to force the weaker, ‘lazy’ eye to do more work.

Not only is this new method more effective, it's a damn sight more enjoyable, too. In fact, we're sure you'll agree that it's blockbusting news. Ahem.


Keeping mobile in old age

It's a game that stops the elderly from having tumbles, which should be appluaded

The game which effectively sold the Nintendo Wii to the masses, Wii Sports, is something of a gaming icon.

Its health benefits should be fairly obvious – it's the game that got us off our sofas and swinging our arms around like fools, after all. However, the title has had a much more striking impact on the lives of older players.

Shortly after the release of the Wii, news stories began to pop up regarding consoles being installed in care homes for the elderly.

You might assume that the frantic arm-waggling required for a serious game of Wii Sports Tennis would be the last thing a retired person would want to contemplate, but the game has been the perfect tonic for OAPs who spend a large proportion of their days inactive.

By encouraging them to get up and perform an entertaining activity, Wii Sports has enriched the twilight years of many a granny and grandad – proving that you're never too old to pick up the controller.



Some people may frown upon video games and label them as dangerously addictive, but new research carried out by Plymouth University seems to suggest that this may not actually be a bad thing.

Games like aforementioned puzzle classic Tetris are so engaging that cravings for other things – such as food, nicotine and alcohol – become less pressing.

Simply put, getting stuck into a video game could be good for you because it prevents you from engaging in less healthy activities.


Bladder problems

Just Dance 2014 screenshot

To many dedicated gamers, Just Dance is the title which always seems to get dusted off when embarrassing relatives visit. Those same relatives who don't know their Master Chief from their Kratos, but have no issue with making fools of themselves attempting to boogie to The Black Eyed Peas in the living room.

As cringeworthy as it may be, Ubisoft's popular rhythm action title could actually deliver tangible health benefits.

A recent study of ladies over the age of 65 with bladder control problems discovered that those who engaged in dancing video games over a 12-week period noticed a marked decrease in daily urine leakage (apologies if you're reading this during mealtime).



When you hear the term ‘dyslexia’ you often assume that it means problems with reading and writing, but researchers at Oxford University believe it is rooted more in problems with the ability to move attention between the senses.

They've been focused on training the brain to get better at shifting attention from one thing to another, and have hypothesised that action-packed video games – Assassin's Creed, Titanfall and Uncharted being three such examples – are especially helpful.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

More commonly referred to as ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is usually diagnosed in children, and is treated with drugs which can often be dished out for many years.

Doctors in Finland, meanwhile, have come up with a new cure - videogames.

Using games to change how the brain works is termed Gameified Neuroplasticity Therapy, and research at the University of Helsinki has already delivered encouraging results – albeit with games that are developed especially with this kind of treatment in mind.

Even so, it's an exciting area of research, and could one day put an end to the questionable practice of prescribing drugs to keep unruly youngsters in check.