Gamers are up to 21% healthier weight than general population, study shows
Esports players are up to 21% healthier weight than the general population, finds a new Queensland University of Technology (QUT) study. According to the study, esports players hardly smoke and they drink significantly less.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, were based on 1400 survey participants from a total of 65 countries.
According to the study, which is the first study to investigate the BMI (Body Mass Index) status of a global sample of esports players, between 9 and 21% more likely to be a healthy weight than the general population.
The top 10% of esports players were significantly more physically active than lower level players, showing that physical activity could influence esports expertise.
"The findings challenge the stereotype of the morbidly obese gamer," said QUT eSports researcher Michael Trotter.
Despite the unfair stereotype, the link between video gaming and obesity had not been strongly established.
"When you think of esports, there are often concerns raised regarding sedentary behaviour and poor health as a result, and the study revealed some interesting and mixed results," he said.
"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," he said.
"Only top-level players surveyed met physical activity guidelines, with the best players exercising on average four days a week," Trotter added.
The study found 4.03% of esports players were more likely to be morbidly obese compared to the global population.
Trotter suggested that strategies should be put in place to support players classed at the higher end of BMI categories.
The study also found that esports players are 7.8% more likely to abstain from drinking daily. Of the players that do drink, only 0.5% reported drinking daily.
The survey also showed only 3.7% of esports players smoked daily. The player smoking frequency is much lower compared to global data at 18.7%.
Future research will investigate how high school and university esports programs can improve health outcomes as well as increase physical activity for gaming students.