Studies

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
fit, health, video gamers, video gaming



Online Gamers More Physically Fit Than Average?

from the wonders-never-cease dept

It's been a good week for video gamers and a bad week for stereotypes of video gamers, apparently. Earlier we wrote about a study talking about how video gamers were actually quite social, and now a new study suggests that online gamers are more physically fit than your average American (perhaps not saying much). No one seems to think that there's a causal relationship here, as it may just be that video gamers tend to be wealthier and more educated -- who also tend to be in better shape. There's also the issue that this appears to be based on self-reported stats, which may not be that accurate. Still, it appears that studies are starting to chip away at the stereotype of the overweight, social loner video gamer.

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  • identicon
    underdog, 19 Sep 2008 @ 6:40am

    Not sure I get it

    Im an avid gamer and regular techdirt reader, but Im not sure why this article is here. Are you making a point about the unreliability of statistics?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Orincarnia, 19 Sep 2008 @ 6:58am

      Re: Not sure I get it

      Its an ongoing report about the statistics of gamers, when in was in middle school if you had a game system and your mom didn't make you go outside and play, you were most likely overweight.

      With the health food, better living and eating habits being thrown everywhere from the "experts" its bound to get in the heads of moms and even teens and 20somethings.

      i myself am a 20something and i play videogames regularly (Halo 3, rock band, and rpg games on ps3) i have always been quite thin all my life but my freshman 15 hit me hard.

      with my gaming i now have developed a work out ratio of work out time to play time. of course i could buy wii fit and be done with it. but that would be the easy way out.

      i don't really like it when someone asks "whats the point of that?" information is information and i enjoy learning. learning enables me to grow, and it seems that asking whats the point only states "why am i learning this what purpose does this serve"

      Thats the mentality of a medical student (or so the past article states) that you just want to learn enough in life to get through it.

      i want to learn EVERYTHING!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:02am

      Re: Not sure I get it

      It's an interesting study result that goes against a well-worn cliché, hence the reporting here despite the clearly unreliable method of obtaining said result. You don't have to take every post seriously ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Potato Head, 19 Sep 2008 @ 6:59am

    I look like

    I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and I am a gamer and a *nix admin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wordup, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:00am

    Well

    I am an avid WOW player and I am 7'4" 132 pounds with a supermodel wife, a Jaguar, and 2 square miles of land that just barely contain my 10 story mansion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hoeppner, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:04am

    Actually there have been few studies that showed that thinking about moving a muscle will actually activate some of the growth abilities of it and cause it to burn a handful more calories than it would have. Though both being a pretty small margin when compared to doing a real exercise plan.

    If there's one things MMO's are good it it's repeating the same actions over and over and over. Running around back and forth back and forth. So...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ima Fish, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:16am

    "Still, it appears that studies are starting to chip away at the stereotype of the overweight, social loner video gamer."

    Darn, I guess I spent all that money setting up www.overweight.socialloner.videogamer.com for nothing!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hegemon13, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:31am

    Age factor

    Isn't it also a fact that the video gaming population is on the young end of the spectrum? I know that the market is expanding, age-wise, but it is still heavily weighted toward young males, who are going to be statistically more physically fit than the "average American." Compare them to others in their same demographic, and I think you would get a different result.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Shaun Wilson, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:45am

      Re: Age factor

      Isn't it also a fact that the video gaming population is on the young end of the spectrum? I know that the market is expanding, age-wise, but it is still heavily weighted toward young males

      Always be warey of well known facts, they have a tendancy to be wrong. I have heard studies putting the average age of the Australian gamer at 28 with something like 80% over 18. Also apparently 8% seniors I believe. Now I know this is Australia not the US but I still think it would be similar. Unless by young you mean 28 years old?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mslade, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:38am

    This just in!

    A new study suggest that studies may produce results. Although this study makes no mention of the reliability of said results, it's still interesting to think about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    justanexer, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:43am

    @Potato Head

    Nice, Beat the stereotype. I'm also a *nix admin and an avid gamer (3+ hours a day), run 8km a day, and work out at the gym for a min of an hour a day. I don't look like Arnold but, i sure don't look like a 'sterotypical' nix geek or gamer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2008 @ 7:54am

    I use to be fat and an online gamer, but then I stopped playing, and now I run 4 miles instead of sitting on my formerly fat butt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim C, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:04am

    games or food

    Or they spend all their money and time on games and don't have any left for food or eating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2008 @ 11:27am

      Re: games or food

      Or they spend all their money and time on games and don't have any left for food or eating.

      That would make them malnurished and perhaps skinny and gaunt, not fit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:07am

    Hmm.

    I'm a system admin and an avid gamer, but still make time to hit the gym 6 days a week. Like anything else I do I tend to get sucked in, so I know 6 days a week could be considered excessive. The point I'm trying to make however, is that computer folk, gamers, and the like, do care about being physically fit. Many of my friends who work in this same industry are all about staying healthy, too. :)

    Not that this says anything about true statistics though... Haha. Anyway, arrrr, ye be sailing in dangerous waters if ye is not healthy, aye. (...Talk like a pirate day. :))

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:11am

    Offline gamers

    From the article...
    "[S]ince the research only studied one multiplayer online game, its conclusions may not be true for single-player console games. "They involve very different psychologies," he says."

    Online gamers are paragons of fitness. But those single-player console gamers, well...they're just a bunch of fat loner slobs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt Bennett, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:21am

    I didn't see any adjustment for age. MMO gamers are older than most gamers but still younger on avg than the population at large. That probably accounts for most of it. I don't think most MMO gamers are that affluent, either, though they are heavily white and asian.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Isaac K (profile), 19 Sep 2008 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      I'm calling you out on that one there;
      I find that the MMO player has the same age spread as the average Halo player.
      Unless you want to include seven year old girls playing with their Nintendogs as "gamers"

      Most avid gamers now run the gamut of middle-high school to mid-thirties, and I have seen no difference between those who play MMOs and those who don't. I personally fall into the latter group, but have associations with many WoW players and the like.

      Again, this is based on my experience, but I don't see how randomly assuming a different age variance counts as an attempt to invalidate the data.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:25am

    Self-reported = not accurate?

    There's also the issue that this appears to be based on self-reported stats, which may not be that accurate.



    Their first clue is that 99% of the gamers surveyed were either 17-year old girls with DD-sized breasts and anime eyes, or 25 year old men with blonde hair, blue eyes, and 11-inch penises.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Charlie, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:27am

    Just think of the consequences of reaching for a potato chip while you're playing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    J.Holmes, 19 Sep 2008 @ 8:45am

    New Study . . .

    Frequent gamers have much larger penises then the average American, even the chicks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patient Zero, 19 Sep 2008 @ 10:03am

    Overweight?

    I'm 39 and an avid gamer.

    I workout 4-5 times a week, often more... sometimes twice a day. I eat super healthy - frontload carbs, lots of salads, lean protein and nothing but good carbs except on splurge weekends - and even then I don't go wild... usually. I hold down a great I/S job paying above average for my area. On evenings and weekends, I'm a DJ/Magician/Hypnotist. Plus... I have a girlfriend.

    I play FPS and MMORPGs depending on my mood.

    I don't think the sterotype is accurate anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pro, 19 Sep 2008 @ 10:27am

    Yes and No

    Individually, it has to do with your habits. When I used to smoke, I'd smoke excessively while I played games. When I used to eat junk food, I'd habitually drink cokes and eat cheez-its while playing. In that case, you're going to get fat.

    On the other hand, I can tell you that when I'm playing a FPS online, that I am seriously jacked up and my brain is definitely operating in a high energy state - which I would imagine burns a lot of calories. As a kid I could get away with it, but as an adult, if I still play these games (I occasionally get into one) I have to stop playing at about 10:00 if I want to get to bed by midnight.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SnobbyFrenchGuy, 19 Sep 2008 @ 10:58am

    Ya know . . .

    Being more fit then the average american, is a bit like being wealthier then the average Etheopian . . . its all relative.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Blizzard, 19 Sep 2008 @ 11:19am

    On Line Gamers Not Poor.

    On Line Gamers are usually those who have/can afford high end computers and the on line costs of the game as well as having higher levels of education. Not too many welfare people playing on line games except for unemployed university students.

    These same people fit into that richer well educated social group that eats better, sees a doctor when they need, and spends time at the gym.

    Ergo, generally better off as wells as better off physically.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2008 @ 11:24am

    The downside, however, was that the gamers reported more cases of depression and substance abuse than their compatriots.

    That is just sad. Also, with an avegage bmi of 25.2 that still places them in the overweight range.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2008 @ 12:01pm

    Could it just be that the average gamer is younger than the average American, perhaps an age range that tends to be more physically fit than your average buffet-grazing cattle? How many hard-core gamers do you know that are younger than 14, or older than 30? Those are prime years for active bodies.
    - Old, fat, short gamer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      justanexer, 19 Sep 2008 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      I'm older than 30 (i'm 37) and the majority of my social network are the same age and we are all hard core gamers. I've read a few reports that put the average age of gamers in the late 20's to early 30's. We have the expendable income for gaming and for myself i have chosen broadband internet and a couple gaming consoles instead of cable tv for my entertainment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    another mike, 19 Sep 2008 @ 12:27pm

    my avatar and me

    didn't this same article come out several years ago? anyway, then as now, i started going back to the gym to look more like my WOW avatar. makes LARP'ing more fun when you are fit enough to wear your armor. then i got into zombie MMOs and realized i needed to get fit to avoid shuffling in my mortal coil ;) mmm, zombies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GotSpeed, 20 Sep 2008 @ 10:16pm

    this is true

    i heard a few days ago that almost 98% of males play video games and almost 90% of females play games

    both me and my gf play games (me a fewe more hours aday then her) but we are both well able to run a few miles if need be and go out for walks once or twice a week. i think for the most part online gamers not being able to pause and walk away and get a pizza and keep playing keeps them from eatting all the time due to the game being 10 or 20 or 30 people or more playing. also it being online they end up talking and hanging out online with more people then you could see in a day being more social

    the online gamer isnt that geek market it use to be a few years ago now any one with a xbox 360 or ps3 with high speed more then likely plays online if not all the time they spend some time online with friends. come to think about it i cant think of any one i know from 17-35 that doesn't have a xbox or ps3 or a gaming computer. i have a few friends in real life that play ps3 cod a few times aweek with each other online. i have a few teachers at my collage that play cod, orange box, halo games online with students even.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nappies, 21 Sep 2008 @ 2:29am

    It's mainstream now

    Video gaming will soon be as popular as TV so the days when just a certain type of person did this activity are long gone, you just can't generalize anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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