A new study about video gamers pretty much shatters the stereotype many people have about them.
Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia conducted what they say is the first study on body mass index from a worldwide sample of e-sports players. What they found surprised even them.
“When we went into the study, we were kind of expecting that the gamers would have a much higher BMI than the general population, but what we found was the complete opposite. We found that players tended to have up to 21% more likelihood of being a normal weight,” said lead researcher Michael Trotter.
The study included hundreds of participants from 65 countries. It showed gamers were between 9% and 21% more likely to be a healthy weight. Players also drank less and smoked less than the general population.
Trotter started the university's e-sports program before he started studying for his PhD. He says he was surprised that serious players focused on their health almost as much as their playing. He says players requested a personal trainer, a dietician, and a sports psychologist.
The study also found the healthier players were the better players.
“We found that the players who were in the top 10% of all players and we measured up to 2.5 thousand players, it wasn't a small study. We found the top 10% of all players were exercising significantly more than their lower ranked counterparts,” said Trotter.
Trotter says the growth of e-sports is huge and future programs will need to look at this study and realize they must focus on the health of players.
He also says future research will need to be done on the overall health of e-sports players, such as muscle mass and bone density.