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Study: Pro Gamers Have Reactions Of Fighter Pilots, Bodies Of Chain Smokers

by Adam Biessener on Jun 10, 2010 at 08:30 AM

A researcher from the University of Essex in the U.K. performed a number of tests on competition-level gamers and compared the results against those of fighter pilots and professional athletes. The results showed mental acuity that rivaled the most elite examples in the other careers, while the gamers' aerobic health was more on par with 60-year-old chain smokers.

"Elite athletes have unusually high levels of positive feelings and low levels of negative feelings such as depression and fatigue," Dr. Dominic Micklewright told Telegraph.co.uk. ''We saw similar characteristics in gamers, albeit not quite as pronounced.'' Similarly, tests measuring reflexes and reaction time produced stellar results. However, the pro-level cyberathletes that took part in the study spend an inordinate amount of time in-game – upwards of 10 hours per day in some cases. This led to predictably poor results in the physical fitness tests.

The overall picture painted by Dr. Micklewright's work shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but comparing gamers' bodies to that of a 60-year-old chain smoker? Ouch.