[Effects of video games on visual function in children]

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 1991 Feb;45(6):1029-34. doi: 10.1265/jjh.45.1029.
[Article in Japanese]


Health effects of video games were examined with a questionnaire survey and an experimental study. In the survey, age, sex, playing time with video games in a day, viewing distance between the eyes and the television screen, subjective symptoms of eye strain, and changes of visual acuity were investigated in 2,034 male and 2,321 female primary school children. In the experimental study, the visual loads of a one-hour word processing task and a video game were compared with various indices, such as critical flicker fusion, near point distance, blinking counts, eyeball movement, pupillary reflex and subjective fatigue symptoms in ten healthy male college students. The results of this study were as follows: 1) The viewing distance between the eyes and the TV screen was shorter for video games than for watching TV programs. 2) The rate of complaints related to eye strain in children who played video games over 120 min per day was significantly higher than that of other children. 3) The eye movements during video games were more rapid and frequent than those during conventional VDT work. 4) A decrease in CFF value and an extension of near point distance and an increase in subjective fatigue symptoms were demonstrated for both the word processing task and the video game. No significant differences were observed between the above two experimental conditions. This suggests that the visual loads for video games are similar to those for VDT work. These findings suggest that regulating the playing times to 60 minutes or less per day is necessary to prevent negative health effects in children.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Asthenopia / etiology*
  • Asthenopia / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires