The Ministry of Tourism and Sports recently announced that e-sports will be considered a valid sport that can have its own association. At the same time, there are now some universities offering courses on games and interactive media, which will support the growth of the e-sports industry. However, there are problems associated with e-sports athletes who tend to sit in front of computer screens for hours at a time without taking a rest, resulting in their vision being adversely affected, their eyes stinging and feeling sore or dry. This condition is referred to as “computer vision syndrome”.
Eye soreness, dryness and tiredness, as well as headaches and shoulder pain have been found to affect 75% of those who use computers, smartphones and tablets for long periods of time, especially in those who exhibit the following behaviors:
Although e-sports involve sitting in one place, they are still considered a sport. Thus, those playing these sports should stand up, move around, and take regular breaks from the screen to maintain good eyesight and general health. Research carried out at Johns Hopkins University has found that aerobic exercise leads to an elevated heart rate which, in turn, improves circulation throughout the nervous system, including the retina. This improved circulation can reduce the risk of developing glaucoma, improve optic nerve health. However, if choosing to run outside in bright conditions, sunglasses that offer effective protection against UV rays are also essential.
Moreover, aerobic exercise helps the body metabolize energy, reduces obesity, and aids in managing chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high blood lipid levels and diabetes, which is another risk factor behind the onset of glaucoma and cataracts.
Some people regard e-sports as a gray area between developing brain capacity, and being addicted to games. However, if the players are aware of how to manage their time, use critical thinking skills, plan ahead effectively, and understand the best ways to stay healthy and care for their eyesight, it could help them become a professional in this new era, giving them the chance to make a happy and prosperous future doing what they love.
Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry), Chulalongkorn University 1993-1997