While many picture student life as constant partying and having a good time, in reality much of the time spent enrolled at university consists of reading course materials, completing assignments and studying for exams. In fact, an average full-time student is expected to spend at least 32 to 36 hours per week in university or studying from home.

In the run up to important exams and coursework deadlines, you are likely to spend long days (and nights) in the library. Naturally, you can only read for so long before you start to lose concentration and can no longer process and remember the information you are consuming.

This is why taking short, regular study breaks is essential for maintaining focus and preventing stress or exhaustion. If your study schedules are aligned with friends’ you might go shopping or grab a bite to eat together but if working alone it can be tempting to try and maintain focus on your work and ‘power through’.

However, there are plenty of study break options you can enjoy on your own, from a quick session in the gym to doing the dishes, taking a short time away from your books will help you in the long run. Another great alternative study break option is playing mobile games. Whether you are studying at your desk at home or on campus in the library, your trusty smartphone is likely to be with you at all times.

There are a huge range of mobile games to enjoy on your breaks, from addictive puzzle games like Candy Crush to fun slot games where you can win money, mobile app stores have thousands of titles to choose from with many being free to play or low-cost.

Mobile gaming has many benefits…

Mobile gaming is already hugely popular and accounts for around 46 percent of the global gaming market and 74 percent of all user spending on mobile apps. Playing these games isn’t just for fun, they also have a number of great health and cognitive benefits for players.

Enhanced concentration

Playing mobile games can help to develop better levels of concentration, an important skill for those who need to concentrate on reading materials to revise for exams. It has even proved to be a useful tool in behaviour-based approaches to treating children with ADHD.

More educational games such as crosswords, sudoku’s and wordsearches can help players to improve their concentration. These games require players to be focus and try to find the answer to complete the game.

Improved cognitive skills

Gaming can also be seen as a bit of a brain training exercise. Like we exercise our bodies, it is important to exercise our minds and playing a variety of games can help tap into and develop the skills we need to improve. Logic skills tend to be the best for improved cognitions. You might just find the problem solving skills you developed gaming to be helpful when under pressure in your next practical exam.

There are many games that can help boost a players brain activity, especially those games that require knowledge and skill. One game in particular that is known for helping to improve player’s cognitive skills is online slots. Slot games have seen a huge market growth since the transition online, with countries such as the USA relaxing laws around online slot games and gambling.

Slot games require players to be focused and have the ability to react quickly to the result of the reels, whether they decide to hold any reels or spin again. This helps players with their problem solving skills determining if their decision to hold or spin again can lead to a win.

Better motor function

Sitting for long periods to read or type can mean that you are not using your motor functions as much as you usually would. Gaming is proven to improve motor function and while its not going to help you to build muscle mass it can improve speed and coordination; this is particularly true for action and first-person shooter games.

An example of a popular video game commonly known across the world is Fortnite, a game where players battle amongst others to be the ‘last player standing’. This game requires players to be constantly on the look out for other players trying to defeat them, helping improve speed of reaction times.

Good for wellbeing and improved mood

When balancing university, a part-time job and other commitments, sometimes we neglect to look after our wellbeing and this can have a knock on effect on grade performance and enthusiasm. Solving challenges in games can help give a sense of achievement and distract players from their everyday-lives for a little while.

Playing for a small time each day can even help to reduce negative thoughts and tackle depression.

Relaxing games such as Gardenscapes developed by Playrix’s Scapes is great for relaxation and switching off from studying. You get to restore and re-design different garden areas and there is even a friendly pet on hand to keep you company.

Social interaction

Lastly, while university life is often assumed to be an incredibly sociable time, in reality students can feel alone and isolated away from their families and loved ones back home. Particularly when university friends are on different schedules so you don’t have time to meet up.

There are many multiplayer games available online for players to have that social interaction, these games range from action first-person shooter games through to traditional board game classics like Monopoly. Many multiplayer games allow players to communicate via chat rooms or via live calls where gaming headsets are often used.

Mobile gaming can help you to meet new friends online and interact and play with people you wouldn’t usually speak to.