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Are Gamers, Athletes In Underdeveloped Bodies?
Video games are at an all-time high in popularity, and many people are
actually making some good money by playing them. Gaming shares similarities
with sports due to the competitive nature and quick reactions, but is there
a cost to playing so many games? University of Essex professor Dr. Dominic
Micklewright performed a series of tests on some competitive video gamers
to see just how they stacked up to what has been traditionally thought of
as an athlete. The results of these tests proved shocking in both positive
and negative ways in regards to the mental and physical health of the gamers.
The mental quickness and awareness of these gamers proved to be of a similar calibre to that of traditional athletes. In fact, some of the reaction time to changing visuals on the screen was even comparable to jet fighter pilots during war time. The gamers also showed very similar characteristics to athletes in regards to how emotionally involved they become during times of heavy competition. Afterwards, they both feel accomplished and exhausted because of how taxing gaming and sports can both be, even though gaming requires basically no physical endurance. While these may seem like very positive traits, there is definitely a downside to spending so much time gaming.
The tests performed showed that the bodies of some of these gamers were comparable to that of someone in their mid-sixties who had spent a lifetime smoking cigarettes. The strength of their lungs was unusually low, which in theory is caused by the extreme lack of aerobic exercise. Other gamers had bodies that seemed almost underdeveloped, like those of people much younger. The professor believes that such a sedentary lifestyle has hindered a lot of physical development traits, and he urges a balance between real life and the digital world.
Spending roughly ten hours per day in front of a screen of any kind can be very bad for a person's health, if they do not counteract that with some good physical activity and exposure to the sun. These tests were not at all performed to make fun of gamers in the traditional way that a lot of athletes have done, but it does show that there is a strong need for the human body to move around more and to become stronger under occasional physical duress. Doctors are saying that health problems, that used to never happen, are showing up in younger people, and this is allegedly due to the poor physical health of the video gamer generation.
With so many people spending hours and hours per day looking at a screen, there is a need and duty for us to focus on some type of regular exercise regiment. It doesn't have to be running marathons or anything over the top, but it does need to be enough to keep us all healthy. Half an hour of aerobic exercise a few times per week is a great start. Technology is wonderful, but it doesn't do any good, if we aren't healthy enough to enjoy it.
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