The age at which athletes end their sports careers can vary. Major ball sports like Basketball, for example, the average retirement age is approximately 28 years. Given this point of reference, it may come as a surprise that a minority of esports players extend their careers beyond 25 years old. The numerous physical ailments suffered by professional gamers is the driving factor.
Esports athletes are performing as many as 400 micromovements per minute, putting a physical strain of a different kind on their bodies. Particularly frequent injuries are structurally damaged nerves and tendons in the hands and wrists, but the health of other body parts such as the neck and back can be put at risk as well. Exercise, stretching and frequent breaks can prevent more serious injuries. However, a lack of awareness and insufficient support structures for professional players are the main barriers in effective prevention.
Having recognized the issue, esports organizations are hiring staff to oversee players’ health with the objective of extending players’ careers. As is the case in other sports, prevention routines are expected to become the norm in esports. Given the increased number of ailments associated with the use of digital devices in the general population, medical expertise in the domain is likely to also grow.. In the future, esports may yet represent another case where progress in the domain of sports can have a positive long-term effect on society.
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