Gamers now more fit than general population

December 17, 2020

The first study to investigate the BMI (Body Mass Index) status of a global sample of esports players reveals that these players are more likely to have a healthy weight compared to the general population. Led by researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Faculty of Health School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, esports players were observed to be up to 21% healthier and hardly smoked or drank.

QUT eSports researcher Michael Trotter said the results were surprising considering global obesity levels: “When you think of esports, there are often concerns raised regarding sedentary behaviour and poor health as a result, [but] the findings challenge the stereotype of the morbidly obese gamer.”

The research found that only 4.03% of esports players – from a total of 1400 survey participants from 65 countries – were likely to be morbidly obese compared to the global population. It showed only 3.7% of esports players smoked daily, with player smoking frequency lower compared to global data at 18.7%; it also found that esports players are 7.8% more likely to abstain from drinking daily, and of those players that do drink, just 0.5% reported drinking daily.

“As part of their training regime, elite esports athletes spend more than an hour per day engaging in physical exercise as a strategy to enhance gameplay and manage stress. Only top-level players surveyed met physical activity guidelines, with the best players exercising on average four days a week.”

Trotter added, “Grassroots esports pathways, such as growing university and high school esports are likely to be the best place for young esports players to develop good health habits for gamers – exercise and physical activity play a role in success in esports and should be a focus for players and organisations training esports players.” Future research will investigate how high-school and university esports programs can improve health outcomes and increase physical activity for gaming students. Trotter specifically suggests developing strategies to support players classed at the higher end of BMI categories.

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Category: Education, Features

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