The impact of aerobic exercise on esport performance – nerds and wellness university rankings in the world

The legitimacy of esports as a competitive entity is no longer in question. With viewing audiences rivaling the other 4 professional american sports and the expectation to gross $1.5 billion-dollars in revenue by 2020, there is clearly a demand for esport-related content. Even ESPN – the worldwide leader in sports – has jumped on the esport bandwagon regularly televising the overwatch league and routinely publishing content through their website and magazine ( LINK).

Unfortunately, the rapidity with which esports has grown has not been matched by performance-based research from the scientific community. Research abounds on how to gain miles per hour on your fastball, but little to no evidence exists regarding esport performance.

The following is a case study I recently completed at the university of miami as a requirement for completion of an orthopedic physical therapy residency program.

I am excited to share that an abstract of this research has been accepted for a poster presentation at the 2019 combined sections meeting of the american physical therapy association in washington, D.C. Washington university acceptance rate this case study is among the first inquiries in the realm of esports improvement and performance enhancement…

Aerobic exercise is known to promote positive health benefits such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline, improving attention and executive function, promoting improved brain activation and growth, and assisting in weight management. More recently, acute bouts of aerobic exercise have been studied as a means of facilitating the acquisition and retention of motor tasks. Thus viewing videogame performance as a complex motor task – the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute bouts of aerobic exercise on esport performance. AEROBIC EXERCISE

Recent research has suggested moderate intensity aerobic exercise seems to facilitate the acquisition of a novel motor task, while intense aerobic exercise seems to facilitate the retention of a novel motor task. American university programs for this study, moderate aerobic exercise was defined as 65% of our subject’s age predicted maximal heart rate (APMHR) and intense aerobic exercise was defined as 80% of our subject’s APMHR. Aerobic exercise is thought to influence the encoding and consolidation processes of our brain via psychological, biological, and neuroendocrinological pathways.

Neuroendocrinological – aerobic exercise, especially at high intensities, increases the circulating levels of hormones/biomarkers in our bloodstream. Blood lactate, BDNF, and other hormones essential in memory encoding are predictably elevated by increasing exercise intensity.

Our test subject completed a custom training scenario on the popular esports title rocket league® compromised of the same sequential 100 shot attempts. Every attempt was different, but was consistent from test session to test session. Our subject completed the rocket league® module after either a period of rest, 25 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 15 minutes of intense aerobic exercise. 48-72 hours after that initial session our subject completed just the rocket league® module again as a measure of retention. Top universities germany the study took place over 6 weeks with our subject cycling through the rest, moderate, and intense conditions twice in order to mitigate any potential learning effects occurring by playing the same game repeatedly. The subject was a 36 year old male who frequently plays videogames though had little prior exposure to rocket league®.

Our results seem to suggest the performance of aerobic exercise prior to engaging in a videogame facilitates improved esport performance. As expected, our subject’s performance consistently improved throughout the first half of the study – likely a learning effect from repeated exposure to the same testing conditions. The biggest support of aerobic exercise as an esport performance facilitator is found when looking at what happened when we cycled through the testing conditions a second time. Removing aerobic exercise prior to engaging in videogame play seemed to cause a decrease in overall performance (a net -23%). Once aerobic exercise was again re-introduced we observed steady improvement back to, and even past baseline (a net +26% increase).

The main conclusion drawn from the results of this study is that an acute bout of aerobic exercise performed prior to videogaming seems to facilitate esport performance. More research is needed to expand upon these findings as well as to determine whether aerobic exercise intensity does preferentially facilitate acquisition versus retention. However, this case study is among the first investigative efforts in discovering methods of facilitating performance for the esport athlete.