Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

Study: Playing Tetris could reduce your cravings


Who knew there could be something satisfying about a never-ending game? A new study published in Appetite found that playing Tetris for just three minutes can lessen cravings for food, cigarettes, and alcohol.

Researchers at Plymouth University's Cognition Institute asked study participants to rank their cravings in terms of strength. Half of the participants then played a game of a Tetris, while the other half watched a screen that attempted to load the game, but never actually did. After the exercise, both groups were asked to rate their cravings again. The researchers found that overall, the cravings of the Tetris-playing participants were 24 percent weaker after their brief digital distraction.

While it's unclear if Tetris is superior to other distractions in terms of quelling cravings (no other kinds of distractions were tested), the researchers say that since imagery is central to cravings, a visual game like Tetris is a good way to prevent those tempting images from flitting across your mind.

So, yeah, Candy Crush is probably just as suitable a way to help you curb your crippling caffeine habit.