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BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2019 Jan 10;5(1):e000467. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000467. eCollection 2019.

Managing the health of the eSport athlete: an integrated health management model.

Author information

1
Department of Osteopathic Medicine, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYIT-COM), New York City, New York, USA.
2
Center for Sports Medicine NYIT-COM, New York City, New York, USA.
3
Office of the Vice President NYIT-COM, New York City, New York, USA.
4
Office of the Dean NYIT-School of Health Professions, New York City, New York, USA.
5
Department of Family Medicine, NYIT-COM, New York City, New York, USA.

Abstract

Objectives:

eSport is a form of electronic gaming, also known as professional or competitive video gaming, and is growing at a rapid pace worldwide. Over 50 US colleges have established varsity gaming teams over the past three years; some colleges offer eSport scholarships as they do for traditional sports. There is little objective research on the health habits of these players who are often placed under the direction of the athletics department on college campuses, and there is currently no health management model on how to treat these new athletes.

Methods:

Anonymous electronic surveys were sent to 65 collegiate eSport players from nine universities across the USA and Canada inquiring about gaming and lifestyle habits, and musculoskeletal complaints due to eSport competition.

Results:

Players practiced between 3 and 10 hours per day. The most frequently reported complaint was eye fatigue (56%), followed by neck and back pain (42%). eSport athletes reported wrist pain (36%) and hand pain (32%). Forty per cent of participants do not participate in any form of physical exercise. Among the players surveyed, only 2% had sought medical attention.

Conclusion:

eSport players, just like athletes in traditional sports, are susceptible to overuse injuries. The most common complaint was eye fatigue, followed by neck and back pain. This study shows eSport athletes are also prone to wrist and hand pain. This paper proposes a health management model that offers a comprehensive medical team approach to prevent and treat eSport athletes.

KEYWORDS:

exercise rehabilitation; overuse; sports & exercise medicine; sports medicine

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