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Pro gamers: pilots' reactions, smokers' bodies?

By Duncan 'Thorin' Shields
Jun 10, 2010 18:28

ImageResearch conducted for a BBC Radio Four programme found that some pro gamers have almost the reaction times of jet fighter pilots but bodies comparable to chain smokers.

The Telegraph's website reports on some research which found as one of its conclusions that some gamers have the reactions of fighter pilots but the bodies of chain smokers.

A Dr Dominic Micklewright, of the University of Essex, tested some "elite cyber-sportsmen" to see how they compared to professional athletes. One of the goals of the study was to see if playing computer games could be classified as a sport. Micklewright's research was carried out for a programme entitled "The eSportsman" which will air on BBC Radio Four this Friday.

The article explains one of the cases:

"The cyber-sportsmen had mental sharpness and psychological traits comparable to 'real' athletes, and reacted to visual stimuli almost as fast as fighter jet pilots.

But their fitness levels were shockingly low and comparable to people either much younger or much older than their actual age.

One leading gamer in his twenties appeared to be slim and healthy with a physique similar to an endurance athlete.

But tests revealed he in fact had the lung function and aerobic fitness of a heavy smoker in his sixties. "

Micklewright said of that discovery and its implications:

"Someone of this age should be much fitter, but perhaps this is the occupational hazard of the professional gamer who can spend around 10 hours a day in front of a screen.

It is always difficult to say how these things will develop, but it could have long term health implications such as an increased risk of heart disease.

Screen time with children has a very strong correlation with childhood obesity and risk factors with heart disease later in life"

Source: Telegraph via fnatic



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