Professional gamers suffer from painful neck, back and wrists, as well as blurred vision and mental health problems, a study has shown.
Esports has grown into a lucrative industry in recent years and has attracted full-time competitors playing in huge sold-out arenas for huge prize pools.
But researchers have warned that falling for hours behind a screen can cause a series of injuries – just like in other sports.
They have now called for a large number of changes, including getting gamers to practice more, take frequent breaks and sit farther away from screens.
The quarter-finals of the esports world championship competition in Madrid, Spain. The esports profession has become a lucrative industry that attracts full-time competitors who play for huge prize pools in sold-out arenas.
Dr. Hallie Zwibel, co-author of the newspaper, said: “Since esports are played while you sit, you would think that it would be literally impossible to get hurt.
& # 39; The truth is that they suffer overload injuries like any other athlete, but also have significant health problems due to the sedentary nature of the sport.
& # 39; We are only now realizing how physically and mentally demanding esports can be.
& # 39; Like any other college or professional athlete, they need trainers, physical therapists, and doctors to optimize their performance and maintain long-term health. & # 39;
Experts from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine investigated the self-reported health quality of collegiate esports competitors while playing by looking at a number of previous studies.
They discovered that 35 percent of gamers experience neck or back pain, 30 percent suffer from hand or wrist and more than half suffer from eye fatigue.
More than 50 percent of the collegiate gamers are addicted for two hours without a break every day, while more than a quarter play more than five hours (photo: the gaming festival in Dubai)
The most common complaint was tired eyes, also known as computer vision syndrome.
More than 50 percent of the collegiate gamers are addicted for two hours without a break every day, while more than a quarter play more than five hours.
HOW DOES STARS ON A SCREEN AFFECT CHILDREN?
Research has shown that spending too much time watching screens – such as smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions – can be harmful to children's intelligence, sleep, mental health and eyesight.
A study by the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa in 2018 showed that eight to 11 year olds performed five percent worse on brain tests than their peers when they watched screens for two hours a day.
This, they suggested, may be because looking at screens is not as stimulating as reading, and could disrupt vital sleep.
Disrupted sleep was also the focus of a warning from the British Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health earlier this year, when it advised children not to use screens before bedtime.
The RCPCH said that high levels of screen time are linked to a less healthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and poorer mental health.
Dr. Max Davie, a health officer, said, "Parents should have control over their own screen time if they get control over the family's screen time. It is much easier to be authoritative if you practice what you preach. & # 39;
Dr. Langis Michaud, professor of optometry at the University of Montreal, wrote in The Conversation in February: & # 39; Since the smartphone was introduced in 2007, a rapid increase in visual problems has been observed.
& # 39; Although the device itself does not emit harmful radiation, the user must read the screen at a distance of 20 cm instead of the normal distance of 45 cm to 50 cm.
& # 39; It has been suggested that this short distance increases the risk of developing myopia by eight times, especially if both parents are myopic. & # 39;
Dr. Zwibel said that the lack of contrast and definition in pixel-generated computer images burden the eyes, leading to blurred vision.
To relieve eye strain, it is advisable to place screens five centimeters below a person's horizontal line of sight and at least 20 centimeters away.
In addition, the lights in the room must be adjusted to reduce the glare of the screen.
Gamers are also advised to pull their eyes off the screen every 20 minutes and stare into the distance for 20 seconds.
Prolonged playing time also affected the neck and back of the player, with more than a third reporting pain during gaming.
Within 30 minutes of play, research showed that gamers' heads hung forward compared to the spine.
This put tension on neck muscles that could lead to imbalances, the team wrote in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Backrests in play chairs exacerbate this stress, the authors claim, by flattening the loins and increasing muscle tension.
Dr. Zwibel and his team recommended stretching exercises and exercises to strengthen the neck and back.
In addition to pain during gaming, the authors also cited various harmful traits of career makers.
A study they cited showed that 40 percent of esports professionals do not participate in any form of exercise.
And many of them feed themselves with caffeine and sugary energy drinks such as GFuel, which markets itself as the & # 39; official & # 39; drink from esports.
Dr. Zwibel also warns of psychological problems associated with esports, which manifests itself in depression and anxiety.
The so-called internet gaming disorder affects five million Americans who display at least five of the following symptoms during a year: persistent overuse despite psychosocial problems, deception, escape, functional limitations, loss of interests, preoccupation tolerance, unsuccessful attempts to control and withdrawal.
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