May 24, 2024

Health and wellness are two things that people tend not to associate with the word “gamer.” Many tend to see the image of an unhealthy individual sitting behind their PC or console eating a bag of crisps with a fizzy drink in hand as has been plastered all over popular culture over the years.

However, with esports on the rise and with gamers being seen as investments, their health and wellness have become a key issue of discussion as various organisations and teams look for the best way to have their gamers compete at the highest level of the sport while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

One of the organisations looking to change the narrative as to what a gamer is and how proper health and wellness can improve the overall performance of gamers is Levels Unlocked, a multicultural female-owned brand marketing and communications firm with a focus on esports, sports and health.

Dr. Melita N. Moore, CEO of Levels Unlocked, spoke exclusively to EAN about her reason for championing health and wellness in the esports space, stating “As a sports medicine doctor and an esports medicine doctor, I saw very early that there wasn’t a lot of wellness in the gaming space, and that is really when this all started.”

“So in 2019, when I was asked to be their [Wizards District Gaming] doctor, I didn’t know why this gaming team would need a doctor. No one else knew why either. It was just to have something on paper to say there is a team doctor because every other professional sport has a team doctor.”

“And when I said, okay, so what does a gamer need? No one could tell me, and so that’s where the inspiration came from,” she further stated.

The organisation recently held the second edition of its LevelUp Land event on Saturday, July 30 at the Otium Game Hub in Accra, Ghana. The main highlight of the event was its Health-e-Gamer Summit, which brought together some of Ghana’s biggest gamers and educated them on some health and wellness techniques to take their game to the next level.

The Summit was led by Dr. Melita and Washington Wizards’ Assistant Athletic Trainer Carlos Bustamante as they went through a number of important things gamers need to do to improve their performance, including the kinds of exercise they should practice, what foods would boost their performance while gaming, and many others.

Dr. Melita N. Moore (CEO of Levels Unlocked) & Carlos Bustamante (Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Washington Wizards)

However, according to Dr. Melita, the thing gamers should keep their eye on is well…the eye. “Vision health is definitely number one,” Dr. Melita said, “everyone is more digital, we are all using so much screen time and our eyes are doing all the work and no one ever thinks about the eye and so vision health is really the number one issue.”

Carlos also spoke about the difference between physiotherapy for traditional sports and esports, stating, “There is a difference in that traditional sports you have ground reaction forces, you are moving around, you are interacting with the ground, that’s human movement right there in itself.”

“With gaming, it’s a little different you are sitting down and you are interacting with the controller to control the character or whatever the goal is so the demands are different of course but I think the way that you prepare yourself is still the same, especially at the elite level.”

Following the Health-e-Gamer Summit, the LevelUp Land event which was supported by the Esports Association, Ghana (EAG) continued with an invitational LevelZ Up NBA 2K and LevelZ Up FIFA tournaments. The event also featured a Virtual Reality (VR) zone.