Play Tetris To Ease Your Cravings

Posted: Aug 15 2015, 3:47am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 15 2015, 3:49am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Play Tetris To Ease Your Cravings
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Playing Tetris for as little as three minutes can satisfy your cravings for food, drugs, sleep and even sex, a new study suggests

The popular block-shifting puzzle video-game Tetris has a number of unexpected benefits.

A new research reveals that playing Tetris for as little as three minutes can ease your cravings for food, drugs, sleep and even sex as well. Most of the previous studies were just focused on food cravings and were carried out in lab settings. The new research was extended to drugs, cigarette, alcohol, coffee and other activities. It was also done in natural settings.

The researchers from Plymouth University and Queensland University of Technology, Australia recruited 31 undergraduates aged 17 to 27. They asked them to report their cravings seven times a day via messaging. Half of the participants were given iPods and were asked to report cravings after playing Tetris for three minutes. A 70 to 56% decline in cravings was reported by the participants.

“Playing Tetris decreased craving strength for drugs, food and activates from 70 to 56%,” said professor Jackie Andrade, co-author of the study. “This is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be used outside the lab to reduce cravings for substances and activities other than eating. We think Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity.”

“Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support the imagery; it’s hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time.”

Cravings were reported 30% for food and non-alcoholic drinks. 21% of cravings were for drugs including coffee, cigarettes, wine and beer. 16% were for activities like sleeping, playing video games, socializing with friends and intercourse. 

The impact of playing Tetris was found consistent throughout the week. Researchers believe Tetris can be an effective tool in managing cravings on day to day basis.


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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