"If only more gamers were like our own dashing Wootini..."
That's the thought that crossed my mind as I stumbled upon this article over at the Huffington Post about how gamers traditionally aren't the fittest people around. Sadly it appears that the Sport, Performance, and Fatigue Research Unit over at the University of Essex has been doing some tests and has scientifically discovered what we've all known/feared for years: "professional computer gamers have the reactions of fighter pilots but the bodies of 60-year-old chain smokers." The unsettling images this study produces (such as my early mother-in-law sniping easy kills on CounterStrike) paint a pretty grim picture of gamers.
This recent study was pretty interesting because it looked at the physical and psychological effects of gaming and compared gamers to non-gamers in a variety of tests. One of the more intriguing tidbits of info to come from the study includes the positive emotional impact that games can have on individuals and how close they match those in more traditional forms of physical competition...
"Elite athletes have unusually high levels of positive feelings and low levels of negative feelings such as depression and fatigue," Micklewright told the Telegraph. "'We saw similar characteristics in gamers, albeit not quite as pronounced."
Well, at least most gamers feel good about themselves. I know that I might not be the best physical representation of gamers, but would I'd like to think that my hobby has had some positive physical effects. Titles like WiiFit do a phenomenal job of making people aware of their body, but even non-fitness focused games like Rock Band have provided me with unique exercises (you try drumming on hard for an hour or two and not call that an exercise!). Even with this I'm not entirely sure that I could claim that gamers on a whole don't deserve just a little bit of a push to get physically fit. What say you, dear reader? Do gamers deserve the bad fitness rep they've got or are we just as unhealthy as everyone else?
[Gamers Have Bodies Of '60-Year-Old Chain Smokers' (STUDY)] Huffington Post