Individuals Cite Exercise, Gaming as Top Ways to Address Mental Health Issues


The most common issues during the COVID-19 pandemic included stress, anxiety.

game_Kannapat/Adobe Stock

game_Kannapat/Adobe Stock

A study found that exercising and playing online games were the most common means of addressing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The international study, conducted by digital board game publisher Marmalade Game Studio, highlighted the mental health issues individuals have experienced during the pandemic and the steps these individuals have taken to address the issues. The study included adults from across France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States. Nearly 6 out of 10 (57%) of all participating individuals reported experiencing mental health issues, with individuals in Singapore (65%) and Hong Kong (64%) the most affected, followed by France (57%), Germany (56%), and the United States (52%). The most commonly cited mental health issues were stress (38%), anxiety (30%), and depression (22%), with 4% of individuals reporting that they have had suicidal thoughts.1

In order to address these issues, 38% of individuals reported exercising more, and 30% reported playing online games, with 29% visiting with friends and family more often, 27% seeking help from a doctor, 26% speaking to their loved ones, and 25% seeking help from mental health professionals. The study also found that 42% of gamers from the European Union said playing multiplayer games during lockdown made them happier, while 16% said that playing games online and connecting with others—particularly family—helped them during lockdown.1

“The pandemic has had a huge effect on mental health globally, and millions have at points suffered from a range of conditions caused by worries about their own and others physical health as well as financial worries,” said Cristina Mereuta, Marmalade Game Studio co-CEO, in a press release. “Many people are clearly taking action, with increased exercise and online gaming appearing to be the most popular ways of relieving stress and anxiety. It is important, however, that people seek professional help where appropriate.”


1. Exercise and online gaming are helping beat mental health issues. News release. The Worldliness. April 6, 2022. Accessed April 21, 2022.

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