Study Finds Video Games Are Better At Relieving Stress Than Sex

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Unwinding is all a matter of personal preference, whether you like to Netflix and chill or something a little more X-rated, each to their own. But a study from University College London suggests there's a more exact science to the effectiveness activities we use to relax.

Of the 251 men surveyed a third of men used video games as a stress reliever making it the most popular way to decompress. A total of 29% of men said playing video games helped them cope with stress, 74% said talking with friends, and 31% said comfort eating. Only 27% of men picked having sex or watching porn, perhaps surprising given that it is seen as a way to let off steam.

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240 women also took part and chose activities like reading a self-help book, talking to friends or doing arts and crafts. Only 11% of women listed having sex or watching porn as a way to cope with stress.

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The study concluded that, "Gamers were found to have an overall lower need for recovery, lower negative work/home interference and had a more effective recovery experience, particularly in relation to the subscales of relaxation and psychological detachment, than non-gamers."

Made Of Us also point to a 2010 study at Texas A&M University which found, "both men and women who play violent video games long-term seem to be able to adopt mental skills to handle stress, become less depressed and get less hostile during stressful tasks."

But it isn't all bad news on the sex front. Dr John Barry commented on similar research to the Daily Mail, saying that sex can be a form of escapism for men. "There are endorphins released during sex," he explains, "So it provides a pleasurable feeling, which can act as a type of medication. It could be that men are just wired differently than women, they naturally have a higher libido so they fall back on this behaviour to cope".