Japanese Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Online)

JAM  2022;Vol.16(1):13-20

Questionnaire on Physical Complaints of High School Esports Players
-Potential Targets for Acupuncture-

OKINAKA Miyono1,2), KANEKO Yasuhisa3), WADA Tsunehiko1,2)
1)Doctoral Program in Sports Medicine, Degree Programs in Comprehensive Human Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba
2)Acupuncture and Physical Therapy Teacher Training School, University of Tsukuba
3)Kuretake Gakuen Clinical Research Institute of Oriental Medicine


[Introduction] Electronic sports (esports) are growing rapidly worldwide. Players can win millions of dollars in large competitions. They often spend more than 10 hours a day for practicing. there are reports of physical complaints in collegiate and professional players. Recently, esports competitions is being held for high school students with the government support. It is required for young, high school players to receive proper care as early as possible if they have any complaint due to hard practice for the competitions. We clarify whether high school esports players have any physical complaint and take care of their physical condition.
[Materials and Methods] We contacted the teachers of high schools that participated in the tournament or advanced to the finals of the 2020 Esports High School Championship. If the teacher of high school agreed with the purpose of the study, the teacher informed his students about the questionnaire recruitment. The students participated in the survey of their own free will. Data was collected anonymously using an unpaid, self-report electronic questionnaire distributed, upon agreement.
[Results] Responses were received from 43 players (40 males and 3 females) who played world-famous esports games (e.g., League of Legends, Fortnite). The daily practice time was between 1 and 10 hours (average: 4.5 ± 2.3 hours); 22 of the players practiced 7 days a week, 6 practiced for 6 days a week, and 9 practiced for 5 days a week. 79% (34 participants) had one or more complaints about their eyes, shoulders, neck, lower back, right wrist, right arm, or feet or had headaches. In total, 81% (35 participants) performed self-care, such as stretching, self-massage, and warm up.
Some players had received massage or osteopathic therapy, but no player received medical care or acupuncture.
[Discussion] 80% of high school players had physical complaints such as eye , neck, sholders, low back, arms. These are symptoms that have been treated with acupuncture, and acupuncture may be useful. Although acupuncture treatment tends to be received mostly by middle-aged and elderly people, acupuncture is widespread among athletes in some sports, and some high school athletes receive acupuncture treatment. The number of players in esports is expected to increase in the future, especially among the younger generation. Acupuncture could be considered as a
modality which alleviate the complaints of esports players

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