Definitely forget the image of the pimply and overweight geek when you think of the professionals of the video game or rather the esports.
According to a new study, published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, esports players are up to 21% healthier than the general population, smoke little and drink little alcohol.
Conducted with 1,772 players in 65 countries (including the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom), the study found that only 8% of e-sports players smoke. And only 3.7% of respondents said they smoke daily. The same goes for alcohol, with 65.1% of respondents declaring that they do not consume alcoholic beverages. And among “gamers” who drink, only 0.5% said they drink daily while 34.9% said they drink at least once a week. Esports players who reported consuming alcohol drank an average of 1.80 days per week. Figures far from those observed in the general population of most of the countries present here.
At the level of body mass index, the study indicates that professional video game players were more likely to be classified in normal weight or obesity categories 2 and 3 (i.e., a BMI over 35 or 40). They were, however, less likely to be classified as underweight (BMI 25) and type 1 obesity (BMI> 30). American and Australian “gamers” were more likely to be of normal weight compared to their respective general populations. They were also less likely to be obese 1 and 2, but more likely to be classified as type 3 obesity. While the majority of esports professionals tracked here were classified as being in good health. of their BMI, 4.03% of respondents were more likely to be morbidly obese compared to global population baseline data.
On the physical activity side, the study reports that 19.7% of esports players followed World Health Organization guidelinesie 30 minutes per day at least 5 days per week.
Well-founded concerns and school curricula to be improved
“When you think of esports, there are often concerns raised about a sedentary behavior and poor health as a result; this study revealed interesting and mixed results ” in this regard, commented Michael Trotter, esports researcher at the Queensland University of Technology and first author of the study. “Esports athletes spend more than an hour a day exercising as part of their training program, in a strategy of improving their gameplay and managing stress ”, he added, specifying that “only the high-level players interviewed complied with the guidelines for physical activity, top players practicing an average of four days a week”.
Indicating that these data call into question the stereotype of the obese gamer, the researcher still believes that strategies should be put in place to support e-sports players with a higher than normal BMI. He adds that university courses and e-sports schools are undoubtedly the best places to help future professional players establish healthy lifestyles.