In our past discussions we already accepted eSports as a legit form of recreation. Although not as physical as traditional sports, do you know that there are dangers that lurk in the world of eSports? Unlike athletes who are constantly exposed to physical activities, gamers' environment is pretty static. They often sit in front of a computer with their headphones for team communication and their hands moving here and there over the keyboard and the mouse with extreme speed in repititive motion etc. etc.. What we don't know is that there are plenty of dangers in these kind of set ups and here are some of them.
Due to poor posture by spending hours sitting in front of a computer or a console gamers unintentionally put pressure on their lungs. Some milder diseases are difficulty in breathing and aching back or shoulders. Serious cases such as pneumothorax or a collapsed lung on the other hand can be dangerous especially if not treated early. I also experienced sitting for hours in front of the computer playing DOTA 2 and LOL during my college days but thankfully I didn't experience such disease.
Pneumothorax is when the air leak outside of the lung which is only felt by chest pain or shortness of breath. An article written by Nathan Grayson of Kotaku titled Lung Collapses Are A Surprisingly Common Esports Injury stated that pneumothorax is not something new to pro players. Although at that time there were not yet any scientific evidence or study to directly relate the disease to eSports a few doctors that he consulted inferred that because of the limited space the players tend to develop bad breathing habits which led to the disease.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is not new to me. I had two friends back in college who had undergone a surgery because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Although I also had some experiences of numbness and tingling sensation near the wrist it didn't develop to a more serious disease like CT syndrome, I think it's because I did plenty of exercise and some martial arts along side with playing eSports.
Carpal tunnel is far from being life threatening compared to pneumothorax but it can be a serious hassle. There might be other causes like injuries or being over weight but for gamers it's the repetitive motion of the hands. The effect of these repetitive motion over time accumulates and put pressure onto the median nerve which sends information from the hand to the brain and vice versa. If the message could not be relayed then a person could not use his hands properly, worst case is that he'd not be able to use it at all.
Head Aches and Eye Problems
Head aches and eye problems might be one of the most common health issues when talking about the negative effects of eSports. It's not really unique to eSports per se but these types of symptoms also commonly occur on office workers who are often in front of their computers. I think these types of symptoms are more prevalent in eSports is because of the type of lighting used in their environment. Computer cafes and gaming studios often have these darker rooms as gaming environment which causes the eyes to have more focus on the screen. The radiation cannot disperse more so the eyes caught alot of it.
There are indeed dangers in playing eSports, especially related to health. Players should be more prudent in taking care of themselves while playing. Having some break for exercise is not really that bad. Stretching from time to time could also be a great help to reduce the risk of these diseases. Most cafes have soft drinks, beers and chips for snacks so controlling themselves by reducing the consumption of these snacks and eat more healthy foods like fruits an vegetables is very important if they want a body that can sustain their needs to play.
P.S. Sorry for the inappropriate use of some gifs. LOL