Associations Between Esports Participation and Health: A Scoping Review

Ana Monteiro Pereira, Júlio A. Costa, Evert Verhagen, Pedro Figueiredo, João Brito

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Esports are a contemporary phenomenon, with millions of people involved. Still, scientific literature on the topic is scarce. Anecdotal reports, mostly based on what is known from videogames practice, have associated esports with unhealthy lifestyles and health-related problems. The present scoping review aimed to provide an overview of findings from studies regarding the health and well-being in adult esports players, while identifying the most studied topics in the field and those still lacking scientific research. The search was conducted in MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, B-on, and ESCBO databases. Studies regarding health consequences of esports practice conducted with adult esports players were included. No exclusion criteria concerning age, sex, esports modality, or esports level were applied, but articles related to other forms of video gaming or gambling were excluded. The search was limited to peer-reviewed articles. Opinion and review articles were excluded. There were 1416 articles retrieved from which 33 met the inclusion criteria. Lifestyle habits, sleep, exercise and physical health (including musculoskeletal health), physiological demands, and mental health were the main topics of investigation. Several gaps in the literature were identified, namely studies on cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic health, or consuming-related risks. Also, the lack of homogeneous methodologies and definitions used in esports-related studies was identified. Esports practice has been associated with different health-related symptoms, but more studies using more robust methodologies and appropriate research design are needed. Topics such as cardiovascular health or the use of performance-enhancing drugs are lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2039-2060
Number of pages22
JournalSports Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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