Contrary to popular belief, a study conducted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) suggests that esports athletes lead a healthy lifestyle and that the top 10 per cent of esports players are significantly more physically active than lower-level players.
The findings, first published on the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, were based on a sample size of 1,400 esports athletes from 65 countries and it is also the first study to investigate the BMI (Body Mass Index) status of a global sample of esports players.
As reported by Science Daily, the study claims that esports players are between 9 and 21 per cent more likely to have a healthy weight than the general population.
QUT esports researcher Michael Trotter said the findings challenge the stereotype of the morbidly obese gamer, adding that elite esports athletes spend more than an hour per day engaging in physical exercise as a strategy to enhance gameplay and manage stress.
According to the World Health Organisation, people should spend a minimum of 150 minutes a week engaging in physical activities.
“Only top-level players surveyed met physical activity guidelines, with the best players exercising on average four days a week,” said the PhD student, who is attached to QUT’s Faculty of Health School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences.
In addition, the study showed that esports athletes are 7.8 per cent more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol daily, and only 0.5 per cent of the all survey participants who do consume alcohol said they drank on a daily basis.
The number of esports players who smoke, meanwhile, is considerably low. The findings show that only 3.7 per cent of esports players smoked daily, and that their smoking frequency is lower than the global average of 18.7 per cent.
“Exercise and physical activity play a role in success in esports and should be a focus for players and organisations training esports players. This will mean that in the future, young gamers will have more reason and motivation to be physically active,” said Trotter.