A recent article on video gaming had me thinking of the age-old quote: “Moderation in all things.” The story, found on the excellent HeadsUPGuys website, boils down to one simple statement:

“Casual gaming can boost mental health by decompressing from everyday stress, but overuse can also lead to isolation, anxiety, and depression.”

Studies show gaming can lower stress, help people relax, reduce worry, help people recover from difficult events, improve attention skills, improve reaction times, and improve memory. All great things and often needed. But take it too far and you can lose sleep, increase aggression levels, and interfere with health eating.

So game away! But set limits on how long you play and how much you buy, shut off devices an hour before bedtime, and be mindful of your emotions when playing. Taking a break may be just what you need.

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 100 companies and more than 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.