Many people are of the opinion that playing FIFA games can affect their health adversely because of the rage it causes. However, researchers at The University of Leeds have proved playing the FIFA game is good for players’ health.
Furthermore, the researcher embarked on a rigorous study, and they found out that playing a FIFA game can reduce anxiety and stress in all participants. It was also discovered that the game could increase players’ heartbeat to levels equal to a moderate exercise.
The research was carried out by Dr. Andrea Utley, a reader at The University of Leeds. His area of specialization is Motor Control and Development.
If you are interested in finding out how the playing of FIFA impacts the health of participants, you are advised to read on as we are going to share the details of the study, including the research findings.
The research was conducted to investigate what is going on in gamers’ bodies as they participate in esports games.
The research involved 10 participants, who were made to play at least ten games for analyses under three conditions. The first condition involves playing against the software or the computer, the second category involves playing against a known opponent, and the opponent would be unknown in the third condition.
All the gamers were made to play the latest version of the game, which is the 2020 version, and the duration of each game ranged between ten to twelve minutes.
Furthermore, the blood pressure and heart rate were taken before and after each playing section. The players were asked to complete the STAI (Strait-Trait Anxiety Inventory) before and after the game. The STAI aims to measure the personal level of anxiety and the anxiety about an event, which are the trait and state anxiety, respectively. In this study, the state anxiety determines the level of players’ anxiety associated with the game.
Gamers playing against unknown players are more aroused. Also, the goal scored against players in this category has a remarkable impact on their heartbeat. Therefore, the emotional response during this game was more pronounced compared to others. In other words, there was a marked increase in the level of arousal and emotional responses when participants played against random unknown opponents.
Furthermore, it was discovered that 70 percent of the gamers experienced an increased heart rate after their opponent score, and the elevated heart rate persisted throughout the game.
The stress level of gamers reduced after playing in all three conditions. Participants also experienced emotional surges when they received messages from other players.
Detailed Results of the Research
The heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety level of participants were tested under the three playing conditions explained above. Below are the detailed reports of the results:
- Heart Rate
The heart rates of participants were elevated even before playing against their unknown opponents. They also experienced an elevated heart rate after the game. There was a surge in emotional activities when a goal occurred; the heart rate approached 140 beats/min.
This type of surge in a heartbeat is comparable to what a person within the player’s age range would experience when engaging in a moderate workout like a brisk walk. The rate of an individual engaging in mild exercise such as walking is about 135 beats per minute.
Another interesting finding is the continuous surge in heart rate once an opponent scored. The heart rate of the participant remained elevated for the rest of the game following a goal by the opponent.
Overall, it was discovered that players experienced a significantly high level of rage, anxiety, and arousal when playing against a total stranger. The other surge in heart rate experienced was as a result of tackles and near misses.
- Blood pressure
Based on the players’ blood pressure taken before and after the game, participants playing against an unknown opponent and computer showed a slight increase in blood pressure.
However, a remarkable increase in blood pressure was noticed in participants playing against unknown strangers. This shows that gamers playing against an unknown opponent tend to experience greater frustration and anxiety level.
Anxiety and Stress Result
Note that the participants were asked to fill the state anxiety questionnaire before and after the game. This assessment shows how anxious they are at any point in time.
It will interest you to know that participants experienced a decrease in anxiety level, despite the rage and increased heartbeat.
The research showed that playing a FIFA game can minimize anxiety and stress in players, despite the rage associated with the game.
Apart from reducing stress and anxiety, playing a FIFA game could contribute to your occasional workout provided you are playing against a total stranger.
Below are the summaries of the research conducted to know the effects of playing FIFA on participants:
- The heart rate of participants increased when their opponent scored; this showed that there was a surge in emotion when an opposition scored a goal.
- The heartbeat of players increased while playing the game.
- When playing against an unknown opponent, the heart rate responses increased across the board. The heartbeat attained the moderate cardio workout level when either of the players scored.
- Playing against an unknown person is associated with increased anxiety and frustration; this is evident from the rise in blood pressure after playing in this category.
- It was also discovered that 70 percent of players had an increased heart rate as soon as their opponents netted a goal. This elevated heart rate persisted throughout the game.
Notwithstanding the discoveries above, all players experienced a reduction in state anxiety after the game. Therefore, participating in esports does not have any negative effect on players’ health. Rather, it reduces their level of anxiety and stress, which is evident from the data collected after the game.
Furthermore, it is also a way of engaging in moderate cardio exercises as the heartbeat of participants playing against strangers reached a moderate workout level when a goal was conceded by either of the players.