Original Editor - Carina Therese Magtibay
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Electronic sports (esports) which is one of the fastest-growing sporting activities in the world is an individual or team video game competition that is usually sponsored by different business organizations. Similar to traditional sporting events, esports tournaments comprise of rules, systems, gameplay, evaluation, and broadcasting. 
Gaining traction in the early 2000s, esports exponentially increased over the years, garnering over 450 million viewers across the globe and more than $25 billion in revenue last 2019. It began as a LAN-Party (local area network) community where video game enthusiasts met on weekends to play with and against each other. With the advancement of technology, allowing for faster and easier access to the Internet, esports is now a common recreational activity that is also recognized as a sport.
Esports and Physiotherapy[edit | edit source]
The lack of general physical activity in conjunction with repetitive microtrauma in hand and upper extremity muscles among esports players lead to health risks and musculoskeletal injuries. On average, gamers spend 3 to 10 hours training per day, resulting in complaints of: 
- eye fatigue
- neck pain
- shoulder complex pain
- back pain
- wrist and hand pain.
There are two main causes of significant esports-related musculoskeletal hazards:
- Sitting for an extended period of time often with poor posture
- Fine motor strain through repetitive actions
According to DiFrancisco-Donoghue et al. (2019), physiotherapists, along with esports coaches, trainers, sports physicians, psychologists, etc., should collaborate for a holistic approach in the assessment and improvement of esports players' performance. Physiotherapists act as primary care providers in a multidisciplinary model of care to address concerns related to overall physical activity levels, injury prevention, injury management, and competitive performance. At present, clinical management of esports injuries relies primarily on musculoskeletal first principles of assessment and treatment.
Musculoskeletal Health Promotion and Performance Optimization Recommendations[edit | edit source]
• Begin with 3 to 5 min of warm-up stretch with 5 min of stretching every 2 h.
• Stretches throughout gameplay. Muscles to stretch:
• Muscles to strengthen:
•Exercises should include:
• Maintain appropriate posture:
• Heightened awareness of a possible DVT if athlete reports lower extremity pain, swelling, orerythema. Screening for underlying risk factors should be considered prior to competition season (e.g., factor V Leiden mutations or use of oral contraceptive pills).
• Consider having a presentation by a sports medicine physician and physical therapist regarding these recommendations.
Potential Health Promotion Strategies in Esports[edit | edit source]
Esports doesn't have to be a sedentary sport. There are Health Promotion Strategies to incorporate physical activity in esports:
- Digital Technologies. Automation and technological advancements may be linked to physical inactivity due to increased occupational sitting and screen-based entertainment, but it can also promote healthy behavior through fitness trackers, smartphone applications, and wearable technologies that offer innovative solutions. 
- Movement-Based Games and Exergames. Esports genres incorporating motion-enhancing, mediating cross-spatial immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), or virtual reality (VR) encourage physical activity and represent a potential for competition in physical esports. 
- Media Ecosystem. Effective health campaigns spread and foster awareness, recognition, reach, and engagement. Social media platforms are useful for health message dissemination by providing access to at-risk or “hidden” audiences and increasing engagement.
- Physical Activity to Enhance Esports Performance. Just like traditional sports, the performance of esports athletes does not solely rely on playing the game repeatedly. Training should also include specific skills in non-gaming environments. Several studies suggest that physical exercise can positively modulate the anatomy, physiology, and brain function, thus, boosting a player's cognitive abilities.
Future of Esports[edit | edit source]
While training of professional sports athletes is based on well-established scientific research, high-evidence literature on esports training is still limited. With the rapid pace of esports' development, more prevalence data, especially longitudinal data on specific musculoskeletal conditions across esports games and across levels of performance are needed.
References[edit | edit source]
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