It’s often seen as a lazy activity, but new research suggests that playing video games could have a surprising benefit – improving your reading skills (stock image)

Playing video games is usually not thought to have any real benefits, but a new study finds that’s not entirely true. University of Saskatchewan researchers found that gaming may improve peripheral attention skills, which are essential for reading ability. Study leader Shaylyn Kress explains, “Attention is an important part of successful reading. Your eyes need to scan across a page in a systematic manner to correctly process each word and sentence, for example. Therefore, activities which may impact attentional processes, such as video games, may also have an impact on reading as well.” The data showed that participants who played games with more peripheral objects were better at reading both known words and fake words quickly and efficiently. The researchers hope their findings will lead to better video game designs that can promote healthier habits.