Online Poker is a Stress Buster say Scientists

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A group of Canadian Scientists have proven that playing poker online reduces stress.

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In fact it is all about cortisol. Cortisol, commonly referred to as the stress hormone, is made by the body’s adrenal gland. When it is released into the blood stream it causes an increase in blood pressure and blood sugar levels which all play a part in the fight or flight response to stress. A bit of stress is a good thing, but prolonged or chronic stress is very damaging.

Now a Canadian University has published the results of a study that monitored the cortisol levels of online poker players. Unexpectedly, they discovered that rather than increasing stress, the more the players became involved in the game, the less cortisol their bodies produced.

This is not the first time that the benefits of playing online poker have been demonstrated. Scientists had shown previously that the brain benefits from online gambling. Improvements in cognitive function and reduction of the ageing process can be brought about by the type of brain activity involved in gambling; a sort of brain training.

In the recent work on cortisol, the cortisol levels of players were monitored at several stages throughout a prolonged poker session. The trend was a gradual reduction in cortisol throughout the session with the amount of reduction averaging 17%. Although the work was carried out on poker players, the researches stressed that the same results would be expected for any form of online gambling.

They have suggested that the reason for declining cortisol levels is because the players focus increasingly on the game and after a time are so immersed in it that the stresses of everyday living fade into the distance. Online poker, just as real life poker, is a game that favours the brave; now it has been shown that it encourages tranquillity. We know a number of players who could benefit from that!

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