When thinking of online gambling, a relationship to health isn’t always the first thing that comes up. Well, gamblers have been known to spend time gambling rather than exercising or doing other hobbies that may keep them physically, or mentally active. In this sense, gambling can absolutely promote poor health.

Online gambling can be an incredible waste of time. Because of its addictive nature and lure, and the fact that online gambling is accessible any time of the day, it can lead to individuals spending up to twelve consecutive hours on one gambling session. In most cases, these gambling sessions are accompanied by other activities which can be dangerous to our health, including drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

Sitting still and engaging in this kind of behavior can lead to an increase in BMI, or body mass index, which over a long period of time can lead to certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that reducing one’s body weight helps keep the BMI in check, which in turn can reduce the chances of developing these diseases. Given this information, consider the difference it would make if the person was on their feet, moving around or exercising for even 20 minutes.

Beyond gambling’s detrimental effects on one’s physical health, it can also affect one’s mental health. In a positive way, gambling can bring about big winnings, which can elevate adrenaline. On the other hand, there are also times when gambling causes money loss, sometimes extreme, which can cause feelings of sorrow and regret. So, gambling can cause major ups and downs in one’s mental health.

This rollercoaster ride of mental health can cause problems in the gambler’s other areas of life, including personal and professional relationships. For example, if someone loses big after a long gambling binge, they may call in sick to work for a “mental health day.” Financial problems can place a lot of pressure on a personal relationship as well. Having problems in all of these areas can lead to a perfect storm and put one’s mental and physical health in a very bad place.

If you suspect this may be happening with yourself or a loved one, consider this: what was your or their life like before gambling became a problem? Were you, or they happier and more energetic then, or now? If “no” is the answer — perhaps professional help should be sought out.

 

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