Mental health problems such as stress, sleep problems, burnout, social phobia, and anxiety are highly prevalent in top video-gamers at a level comparable to other professional sports, according to a new study. The study looked at 313 competitive university student esports athletes who play either Counter Strike: Global Offensive, VALORANT, or Rainbow Six Siege.
The esports athletes completed surveys looking at stressors resulting from competing in esports including teammate interactions, personal and teammate concerns and game-specific worry, as well as other signs of mental ill health.
“Our study has important implications for player health in esports,” said Dr. Matt Smith, Sport and Exercise Psychologist at the University of Winchester. “In particular, it highlights that interventions could target specific aspects of stress, sleep, burnout and social phobia anxiety, to improve the mental health of those who compete in esports.”
Dr. Smith, who is the lead author of the report Examining the Predictors of Mental Ill Health in Esport Competitors published in the MDPI Journal Healthcare, added: “There is a lack of research examining mental health in esports athletes. By identifying the risk factors which underpin mental ill health for this group of athletes we hope healthcare practitioners can deliver evidence-based healthcare provision for esports athletes”
“From implementing interventions to improve quality of sleep, to providing esports athletes with strategies to deal with the demands of their sport to avoid burnout, there are practical steps that can be taken to address the factors which we now know can predict mental ill health.”
(All information was provided by The Irish Examiner)