eSport Study 2023 – Mental Health in E-Sports

Since 2018, we have been conducting annual esports studies to investigate various topics related to the health of esports players. In the current study, we surveyed 1073 gamers on the topic of mental health and resilience.

The key findings of the 2023 study

At our press conference, Univ. Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse (Head of the Institute for Exercise Therapy and Exercise-Oriented Prevention and Rehabilitation) together with Sabine Deutscher (Member of the Board of AOK Rheinland/Hamburg) presented the findings of the fifth eSport study on January 31, 2023 in Cologne.

As in previous years, the eSport Study 2023 initially shows pleasing results. The majority of respondents rate their subjective state of health as basically good to very good and the study result on mental health is in the upper third of the possible total score.

However, the results on well-being and resilience are significantly worse. Just under 18% of respondents show early signs of psychological distress. Similarly, the psychological well-being of just under 17% of respondents is below the threshold. According to the questionnaire used, the gamers thus show an increased risk of depression.
Overall, the mean value of all gamers is below the average of the norm values, which tends to indicate a low level of well-being. This is accompanied by a general sense of well-being in terms of quality of life, with more than a third of the respondents falling below the threshold value. With the exception of the group of esports professionals, all the groups of people surveyed exhibit low psychological resilience. However, it should be borne in mind that current global events in particular, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war or the energy crisis, can have a significant impact on the well-being and thus also on the mental health of the respondents.

Promotion of physical activity as a preventive measure for mental well-being

For the majority of respondents, taking care of their own mental health is very important and they also know how to take care of it; nevertheless, only just under half of the respondents consciously do something about it. It is possible that the first signs of mental problems are not perceived as such, and the respondents do not yet consider it necessary to actively look after their mental health.

There is a need for action in the area of general well-being among the players surveyed, which can be rated as rather low. As some studies have already shown, an active lifestyle can contribute to a higher level of well-being. With regard to the amount of time players spend sitting and being active, they should be more physically active overall, as only about half of the respondents reach the WHO’s physical activity recommendation of 150 minutes per week. If we consider the more stringent recommendations for additional health-promoting effects, the proportion is even lower at only one-third.

The detailed research report on the eSport Study 2023 can be found here under the Downloads tab.

Fact Sheet for the eSport Study 2023