Esports — that is, the games played by professional videogamers, often on the tournament level — has become a billion-dollar industry. Now experts are saying like any pro athletes, e-athletes are physically suffering for their sport.
That’s right: despite the fact players are generally seated when they’re playing, esports injuries are on the rise.
“We’re really just now realizing how physically and mentally demanding esports can be,” notes Dr. Hallie Zwibel, who published his team’s findings in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Experts at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine say recently surveyed collegiate esports competitors reported that 35% of them had experienced neck or back pain, while 30% suffer pain in their hands and wrists and 56% suffer eye fatigue.
A full 40% say they get no physical activity at all in a given day, other than gaming.
All of the injuries are par for their sport, regardless of whether they’re playing Fortnite or FIFA: they spend hours peering at a screen, hunched in a chair, working a controller.
What’s more, they’re also suffering mental strain from the ups and downs of their games, as well as the stakes of various competitions, which can total in the millions of dollars.
“Like any other college or pro-level athlete, [videogamers] need trainers, physical therapists and physicians to help them optimize their performance and maintain long-term health,” Dr. Zwibel advises.