We live in world were people sit in front of a screen all day at work, just so they can afford to go home and sit in front of a different screen. The difference between a typical office worker and a professional gamer is that the gamer needs to be productive for much longer. A study from Ohio University states that an average worker is only productive about 3 hours out of an 8 hour day. Professional gamers usually work 10+ hours a day and have to be productive the entire time. A professional gamer being productive essentially means doing their best to win games, either a scrim game or match made game online.
This difference in productivity means that a professional gamer needs to have better “desk health” to be constantly productive all day. “Desk health” is a term that I (not at all a doctor) just made up. It refers to the ways your body can affect your gaming. For example, having giant pecs and biceps won’t help you play better, but having the right workout routine can.
The kinds of fitness and health plans that a professional gamer should try are ones that primarily focus on the mind and being able to withstand the sedentary lifestyle that comes with gaming.
Here’s my quick guide to staying fit for gaming: (again…not a doctor, do not take this as medical advice)
- Sleep: Eight hours of sleep every night is imperative to make sure you’re waking up every single day with a mind that’s capable of keeping up with the demands of gaming. A regular office worker can perform most of their job just as well while “groggy” where as a professional gamer won’t even come close.
- Eyes: Most people are aware of the dangers of looking at a screen all day, but with the constant flashing images of gaming, a gamer’s eyes are at even more of a risk of a decline in their health. A good exercise is the 20-20-20 exercise; Focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This helps prevent eye strain.
- Wrists: Wrist stretches once a day are very important as wrist injuries like carpal tunnel are the most common in gaming. A good one is to stretch out your arm and take your fingers and pull them back over the top of your hand.
- Diet: A balanced and healthy diet is important to retaining peak mental performance throughout the day. A diet higher in healthy fats has been said to increase mental clarity and sharpness.
- Move: This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re sitting on your butt all day, take time to get your blood flowing. Walk around your house or office, perhaps while performing the simple exercises listed above.
Professional esports teams all across the world are starting to implement physical training regimes and are hiring full time chefs to keep players nourished. There’s a reason why professional gaming careers are usually very short, practicing for 10+ hours a day plus the stress of competition takes a toll. Stay healthy out there.