As everyone knows, eSports has made leaps in growth this year – especially in Singapore when team Asterisk became the first women’s team from our sunny shores to qualify for the grand finals of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in March, finishing second in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Not long after, the three-man Team Flash won the East Asian Champions Cup Spring 2018, the largest international tournament for the Fifa Online 3 game, qualifying them for the eWorld Cup in June.
These prize money for these eSports is getting bigger each year – CS:GO is $1.4 million, WESG is $3.7 million, and DOTA 2 International is a whopping $20 million! It’s so popular that eSports will even be included in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.
While obviously players aren’t considered ‘athletes’ in a traditional sense, eSports professionals dedicate at least 10-12 hours a day, 7-days a week, 80+hours a week on their craft – which often includes physical and mental management of their health.
eSports is also physical?
EVERY GAMER HAS DEALT WITH PAIN.
While eSports are more static (little to no movement within small ranges of motion) than traditional sports which are dynamic (a lot of moving at high velocities through wide ranges of motion), it doesn’t mean that there is no movement at all.
Luckily, eSports is very predictable when it comes to injuries – anyone who works hunched over in front of a computer all day will experience the same stress – but it’s more extreme. For gamers, the injuries are usually in the wrists/arms, and occasionally lower back (particularly if bad posture is involved).
As always, prevention is better than cure, so if you’re a binge-gamer (or someone who sits in front of computers all day), exercise and stretching are important. Just like with running, the mindset component is huge, and the body needs to be conditioned to prevent injury.
Gamers make a lot of small movements at the wrists, hands and sometimes shoulders, and these cyclical, repeated movements over an extended period of time overloads our muscles and tendons. These stretches from 1HP (a platform dedicated to gamer health and wellbeing) are meant to help relieve stiffness associated with repeated activity and facilitate recovery from these long sessions.
Most office/gaming chairs are optimised for supporting our lower backs, but to effectively make full use of it you have to know how to ‘sit’ properly. Firstly, you have to keep your hips neutral, and feet supported on the ground.
As far as exercise goes, there’s one useful exercise that can address multiple impairments which are common to prolonged sitting posture (rounded back, poor shoulder blade position, limited rib-cage expansion, forward head, etc. etc.). This should be performed 3-5 times for 1 minute, in 40-50 mins intervals.