DOI: 10.3390/su152316391 ISSN: 2071-1050

Beyond the Screen: Do Esports Participants Really Have More Physical Health Problems?

Di Tang, Kim-wai Raymond Sum, Ruisi Ma, Wai-keung Ho
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This cross-sectional study aimed to explore the association between esports participation and physical health and examine the difference in physical health problems between esports participants and non-esports participants. A total of 1549 young adults participated in this investigation. A total of 633 participants were categorized as esports participants, and they were involved in six types of esports games: shooting games, multiplayer online battle arena games, strategy card games, sports games, real-time strategy games, and fighting games. An online survey was conducted to gather data on their demographic information, gaming behavior, traditional sports behavior, and physical health problems. The results demonstrated that esports players reported significantly higher participation in traditional sports compared to non-esports players. No significant differences were found in sleep duration or the selected physical health issues between the two groups. Overall, the findings suggest that esports participation was not associated with negative physical health in this sample of young adults. Furthermore, this study found that players who conscientiously took intermittent breaks and maintained a standardized sitting posture during gameplay had a lower likelihood of reporting neck and back pain. These findings have important implications for challenging conventional negative perceptions of esports and promoting a more objective understanding and appreciation of esports and the sustainable development of esports players. Future research is necessary to explore potential causal relationships between esports participation and health outcomes and to develop a healthier esports practice modality from a sports science perspective.

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