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What are the long-term health consequences of playing esports professionally?

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We read a lot about the stresses that esports pros have to endure, which tend to result in a lot of them quitting while fairly young. Do we know much yet about the long-term physical and psychological outcomes? Do esports players have health problems after their careers are over like athletes often do?

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8 hours ago, ForwardSlashDownPoke said:

The main bad thing that can happen to someone is that they can become addicted to being sedentary (sitting around all the time); which could lead to health issues obviously.

This is really it. There's very few esports players I've seen who are noticeably obese, likely because in order to have that sharper mind one can't rely solely on that Monster Energy sponsership. It requires plentiful exercise, good diet and remaining hydrated.

Most sporting injuries come about in physically intensive activity, especially in contact sports. Esports players may be physically fit, but their training regimen isn't going to put them at long-term health risks like a rugby player might be, a game in which great body mass (and the issues that come with it) is required to play effectively.

The only risks I can see are developing eye-strain for using a screen for so long, as well as repetitive strain injuries in the wrist onwards, but I reckon esports players are expected to take breaks between matches or tag each other out so they can take microbreaks. The UK's Health & Safety Executive page has some interesting ideas on what breaks should be taken and when in regards to visual display unit (VDU) work, and that could just as easily apply to games.

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It relates to the long duration effects of playing video games. If you play games for a very long period of time, their are consequences behind it and those consequences are as follows: 

- Lack of motivation at some point in that respective game. Playing long hours can lead to lack of motivation within short period of time for a single game. 

- Aggressiveness; playing long hours when we can't walk past a particular level increases aggression and makes one to be frustrated at some point in the game. 

- Depression.

- Dehydration

- Bad sleeping habit 

- And most importantly 'Exhaustion. When we play too much we'll feel burnt, we need rest as humans, continuous playing of video games can lead to frequent exhaustion. 

 

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On 8/21/2022 at 6:15 AM, Withywarlock said:

This is really it. There's very few esports players I've seen who are noticeably obese, likely because in order to have that sharper mind one can't rely solely on that Monster Energy sponsership. It requires plentiful exercise, good diet and remaining hydrated.

Most sporting injuries come about in physically intensive activity, especially in contact sports. Esports players may be physically fit, but their training regimen isn't going to put them at long-term health risks like a rugby player might be, a game in which great body mass (and the issues that come with it) is required to play effectively.

The only risks I can see are developing eye-strain for using a screen for so long, as well as repetitive strain injuries in the wrist onwards, but I reckon esports players are expected to take breaks between matches or tag each other out so they can take microbreaks. The UK's Health & Safety Executive page has some interesting ideas on what breaks should be taken and when in regards to visual display unit (VDU) work, and that could just as easily apply to games.

Most of that is correct, but there's no serious long term concerns.

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Great topic,

 

Honestly as someone who played video games / ran services for for multiple years in my life it gives me great pleasure to elaborate on this.

Pro's: Faster reaction time, logic an analytical reasoning tend to increase, pattern recognition improves, ability to plan and acclimate do as well. Being your own boss in most situations and having the schedule you want unless you need to be online during specific timezones, and decent income if you're in the right sector within the industry.

Con's: Loneliness, Increased issues with back , wrist, neck, in general skeletal and muscle pains. Disorientation , detachment from reality , bad to poor diets if you must be online constantly, lack of social life, dealing with constant trolls, and boredom.

Personally I found ways to fix the diet issue, the back/ body problems and the trolls. However even now my primary job is to create and develop communities and video games. It's different than when I was a service provider , pro gamer, community manager all at once but in general I still have disorientation, detachment from social life life or friendships and actually a more increased sense of what reality is which can become a problem due to the fact you analyze everything down to a logical / analytical standpoint which prevents you from really sympathizing with the few people you do have around you. 

Being a pro gamer/ someone who spends 16 hours a day creating digital content or managing within that environment shouldn't be for people who want to play for fun, have families that need attention or wish to have a circle of friends who require attention. After a while you stop viewing things as "fun" and see the price tags, ways to improve or perfect what you are after and gaming just doesn't have the same feel anymore. My favorite game was "Runescape" and "Path of Exile" however once I started my profession with services it all became pointless as I found the utmost efficient ways to complete the games and before I knew it the magic of the game was gone and it just became "being the best or completing situations the most efficient and quick way as possible" which was driven by the profitability of said changes.

I suggest if anyone actually wants to profit from playing games they find a way to manage it properly and find a way to make your play style profitable without changing too much about what you enjoy to earn income.

 

EOS

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9 hours ago, DC said:

What about arthritis and overall bone/joint/muscle discomfort? This seems possible especially if one has poor posture and an inadequate gaming set-up and chair agronomics. Furthermore, looking at a monitor for long periods of time can cause eyestrain and weakened eyesight. 

One thing I left out of my response was "Eye Twitches" after a few days of really hard playing my left eyelid always flickers XD

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11 hours ago, DC said:

What about arthritis and overall bone/joint/muscle discomfort? This seems possible especially if one has poor posture and an inadequate gaming set-up and chair agronomics. Furthermore, looking at a monitor for long periods of time can cause eyestrain and weakened eyesight. 

Yeah this is what I would imagine being the case. There has been games I have played that caused me hand discomfort before. And of course playing for long hours can cause eye strain. 

I don't know what else, aside from a sedentary lifestyle for playing too much and not moving enough. But I imagine most players take needed breaks. 

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2 hours ago, Empire Of Sight said:

One thing I left out of my response was "Eye Twitches" after a few days of really hard playing my left eyelid always flickers XD

I forgot to mention, I had to see an optician for that in both my eyelids around March this year. Fortunately they couldn't find anything wrong, but that doesn't mean that everyone who has such twitches or spasms should ignore it.

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1 hour ago, Withywarlock said:

I forgot to mention, I had to see an optician for that in both my eyelids around March this year. Fortunately they couldn't find anything wrong, but that doesn't mean that everyone who has such twitches or spasms should ignore it.

Haha omg that thread is actually a never ending rabbit hole xD It's awesome and thanks for your worry 😄

Yay glad to hear nothing was wrong with you though, honestly I've noticed it normally comes from basic overuse of eyes without much sleep. I think there has only been a handful of times I've been actually terrified from something related to gaming. I once stayed up for nearly 7 days straight with zero sleep playing world of warcraft and runescape. Around day 7 I laid in the bed , looked at the ceiling and seen translucent purple spiders crawling everywhere 😮 That was 10+ years ago and it still haunts me xD Also if I do 48-72 hours awake on the computer and then try to sleep it's almost impossible to fall asleep. My brain just starts dreaming with my eyes open and flashing in and out of dreams/ being awake.

Imagine staying up for 7 days, looking at your ceiling and seeing purple Spyro's running all over the place XDDDD

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This has always been true, it's just super hard to remove the idea from esports because grinding is what got every player to where they are now. Asking them to change what worked forever, especially since the initial change will likely result in a drop in perceived skill, is super tough. It probably won't change until we have more robust youth esports programs that teach kids how to properly practice at a young age

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1 hour ago, Empire said:

This has always been true, it's just super hard to remove the idea from esports because grinding is what got every player to where they are now. Asking them to change what worked forever, especially since the initial change will likely result in a drop in perceived skill, is super tough. It probably won't change until we have more robust youth esports programs that teach kids how to properly practice at a young age

That's true, 

I think a proper course or institute that caters to the youth will help, however I will say that if you do no life you are generally a better player than most at any game you play, and of course there's exceptions however the more you do something you general become better so that will drive even those who go to institutes to no life until they get to the highest tier. 

It would require legit time locks on games and ID verification to keep people from playing all the time which is kind of what China does but its still avoidable and you can do w.e you want if you take the proper channels.

 

EOS

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