Physical activity levels, lifestyle behaviour and musculoskeletal health profiles among seated video gamers during COVID-19

Nicholas Harding, Habib Noorbhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The aim of this research study was to determine the physical activity levels of non-active video gamers, and to determine how much other time was spent with sedentary behaviours, both in recreational and occupational domains. Methods The study used the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and investigated physical activity levels and health data of seated gamers. Typical weekly gaming habits, self-reported musculoskeletal pain and physical activity levels experienced by participants while gaming was also obtained. Results Out of a total of 102 participants, 69.6% stated that they game for 3 hours or more on a typical weekday. Most participants video game seated or reclined (96.1%, p=0.01), with only four participants engaging in some form of active video gaming. In relation to physical activity levels, despite the high frequency and duration of gameplay, 87.3% of participants stated they engaged in moderate-intensity physical activity (p=0.02). There was an association with video gaming and musculoskeletal pain, with over half of the participants stating they experienced pain while gaming. There was also a link between seated video gaming and musculoskeletal pain among participants. Conclusion Findings from this study show that the high frequency and duration of video gaming among gamers does not affect physical activity for moderate and vigorous intensities, but does affect musculoskeletal pain. Further research is required to determine whether video gaming has a significant effect on lifestyle, sedentary habits and musculoskeletal health, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic where sedentary behaviour has likely increased.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001194
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2021


  • health promotion
  • physical activity
  • sedentary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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