Some fascinating research has revealed that playing FIFA may actually be good for your health. One particularly interesting finding is that a heart-pounding session of FIFA can be likened to a moderate cardio workout.
FIFA is undoubtedly one of the most mammoth successes in video game history. It’s also a game that is known for its tendency to ignite what is colloquially called “FIFA rage” in its players. It’s that all-encompassing frustration and outrage that many of us have experienced at least once whilst playing one of the many, many FIFA games out there.
The study was carried out this year by Casino, in partnership with Dr Andrea Utley and co. from the University of Leeds in the UK. They wanted to take a closer look at what the actual physical and psychological effects are when someone plays a heated session of FIFA. So they asked 10 people to play a minimum of 10 games of FIFA20 each, under three different playing conditions – playing against the computer, against a player they know, and against a random player online.
Heart rate and blood pressure were measured in all participants before and after each game (which lasted between 10 and 12 minutes). Anxiety levels were also recorded by the players themselves.
Surprising no-one, all 10 players showed an increased heart rate whilst playing the game. It spiked specifically when a goal was scored, and more so when the opposition scored. It was also found that, regardless of which side scored, heart rates were higher in all participants when playing against an unknown player, reaching levels generally seen during a moderate cardio workout.
But we would advise against cancelling your gym membership or swearing off exercise completely at this point. A “moderate cardio workout” here is considered something more like a brisk walk outside, not a full-scale, sweat-drenched cardio workout. Basically, a FIFA game would be no substitute for some good ol’ fashioned exercise or a stroll in the fresh air.
But what it does seem to be, according to these experiments, is a great stress-reliever. Despite the sometimes rage-inducing, heart-pounding action, all participants reported an overall reduction in anxiety after playing. So perhaps FIFA rage does have something good to offer us after all?
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