University of Jyväskylä

A Study: Physical Exercise Is a Significant Part of Elite E-Sports Players’ Training

Finnish scholars from the Universities of Jyväskylä and Turku have conducted the first peer-reviewed study concerning the physical exercise of elite e-sports players. The focus of the study led by Tuomas Kari and Veli-Matti Karhulahti was on European and North American players.

The study indicates that elite e-sports players practice an average of 5.5 hours daily around the year. Approximately one hour of that amount is physical exercise such as running or gym training. Considering that a number of the players’ days are dedicated to competitions, tournament play, and rest, the usual daily training hours are actually much longer. Of the respondents, 82% had an individual plan for physical exercise. Most of them also perceived that physical exercise had improved their competitive performance as e-sports players.

- The study clearly indicates that elite e-sports players are physically active as well, and that physical exercise plays a significant role in their training. This conveys an exciting message to those players who are striving toward the elite level, researchers say.

Along the way, the persistent discussion about the “physicality” of e-sports gains a new perspective.

- We would not be primarily concerned about the time that aspiring young e-athletes spend training at their computers. Instead, we would focus on building social networks that help them understand and respect the physical requirements of their sport.

Some headlines have reported elite e-sports players to practice frequently as much as 14 hours per day around the year. Is this just a myth, then?

- The top-level professionals may well spend such daily lengths on e-sports -related activities. This, however, most likely includes things such as team meetings, video analysis, and strategy discussions, which the professionals themselves do not necessarily count as training, the researchers clarify.


Further information:

Veli-Matti Karhulahti, University of Turku
050 5336 559

Tuomas Kari, University of Jyväskylä
040 8255 708


The study was published in:

Kari, T., & Karhulahti, V. (2016). “Do E-Athletes Move? A Study on Training and Physical Exercise in Elite E-Sports.” International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, 8 (4), 53-66.

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