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How Today’s Gamers Are Staying Fit

Gaming is a serious industry in the UK, both at a casual level and for those who compete professionally. With more people playing there are clear health and fitness concerns over posture and exercise. Yet, the image of a gamer has moved on from the stereotypes of unhealthy teenagers locked in their bedrooms to encompass a far wider section of society. Many gamers today are taking their fitness seriously.

The UK’s Gaming Market

Around 37 million people in the UK regularly play games according to Ukie, with Grand Theft Auto becoming the most financially successful media product of all time and helping to grow those numbers.

The BBC explains how online gaming is also raking in a huge amount of revenue, with £5.6 billion between October 2017 and September 2018 alone, especially through mobile games. This has affected the home gaming market as the prizes online are on the increase for certain types of games. Indeed, Gala Spins points out that players can win a share of up to £1.5 million which helps to explain the rise of people playing online games at home. No wonder this type of online gaming is dominant compared to similar gaming genres in the UK.

At the other end of the spectrum is the rise of eSports which has further helped to grow the market. There are also huge sums of money on offer to successful eSports competitors, such as Jaden Ashman and Kyle Jackson, who have earned around £1.3 million between them playing the online shooter Fortnite. With so many people now playing how are they staying fit?

Fitness for Gamers

Far from simply being hunched over a screen and sat in isolation though, today’s gamers, especially those who play professionally, are keeping themselves fit and healthy to stay ahead of the competition.

We’ve already examined some aspects of combatting excessive computer usage, as more people find themselves in jobs which require long periods sat in front of a screen. Gamers are even more at risk, needing to be alert whenever they’re sat playing. Tiny margins for error and a need to deliver elite performances place demands on the physical wellbeing of gamers and they’re now following fitness regimes, much like athletes, in order to cope with those demands.

One of the core areas of focus for gamers is in the wrists and hands, which are the conduit between the player and the controller. “We have wrist trainers, those balls that you spin and move your wrist around to exercise your wrist,” explained Carl Hagberg Flink to The Guardian. Flink who manages the highly successful Fnatic eSports team also said “We also have stretching exercises where elbow and wrist are the parts most focused on.”

Fitness for online gamers is increasingly important in the US market, with the UK beginning to catch up. The home of some of these eSports teams will even have an in-house chef, gym and fitness advisors, ensuring they get the best form their players. With prize money growing all the time, it is vitally important the gamers of today look after themselves.

Even for those playing at home, the simple lack of exercise that excessive gaming leads to can cause health problems, which is why taking simple breaks, eating well and keeping a good level of activity in your routine can help you stay healthy. Another way many gamers at home are staying fit is through playing VR games, which are much more physically demanding compared to regular console games. Not only are there dedicated games made to help people exercise, but even simple shooting VR games will require the player to move and twist their body a lot during the gameplay.

What is clear though is that the stereotype of lazy gamers has been thrown off. Whether they are professional or casual gamers many are now making their health a priority.

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Owner of Personal Trainer, Father and fitness copy writer. Working hard making the world fitter and healthier!

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