As FIFA players we all know that leaning forward makes us play better, right? It turns out, this is actually true.
The 'Lean' behind the meme
Whether you are playing online or just casually against friends, you know things are getting serious when someone gets a 'lean' on.
The first area of research established by Dr. Utley was how widespread 'leaning' is among gamers.
Three out of four gamers (76.9%) said they lean forward while playing. An overwhelming majority.
However, is the lean a deliberate tactic or a natural reflex? Less than 10% of players say that 'leaning' while gaming is a solely conscious decision, so most of us are natural 'leaners', apparently.
Interestingly though, just over half of gamers that took part in the survey believed that 'leaning' is beneficial to their gaming performance.
We now know that 'leaning' does indeed improve performance, but it is not quite as simple as you might think.
To lean, or not to lean
You must not lean for the whole duration of the match! Dr. Utley explains;
“Moving your main sensory system closer will help your focus and concentration, but without full postural support, especially from the trunk and neck muscles, you will get fatigued.
“Leaning forward helps us concentrate on the game, but we can only do it for so long before tiredness sets in. Our eye movements are facilitated by tiny Recti muscles and when they are overworked they become less effective – like any other muscle in the body.”
The study showed that gamers who won every game spent considerably less time ‘leaning’ than the players who lost.
Winning players leaned forwards for just 4.69 minutes – 35.5% of an average game – while losers spent 7.93 minutes in the leaning position. That’s 52.6% of the average game on FIFA 21.
There you have it, make sure to lean forward in the crucial moments and you will be a FIFA champion, probably.
Trigger movements are a term widely used in sport, and the term can be applied in this instance too as there are clear times when a 'lean' is triggered.
Each participant in the study leaned forward on several occasions during each game they played.
These ‘leans’ were triggered by a number of events, including scoring or conceding a goal, losing possession of the ball, or missing or conceding a chance.
Funnily enough, there was also a trend involving Cristiano Ronaldo. If an opponent’s team featured CR7, a lean was often triggered every time he received the ball.
While it is great to have Ronaldo in your team, you may be inadvertently encouraging your opponent to try harder.
Beat the best
As explained by CEO and Founder of Stakester Tom Fairey, understanding the 'lean' can truly enhance your performance.
"The gamer lean has become a universal meme, but until now, the science behind its benefits were completely unknown.
"FIFA is a game of split-second reactions and quick decision making, so even a small edge can make a big difference – especially if there’s something at stake.
Dr. Utley's research means gamers everywhere can reap the benefits of the lean, and FIFA players who are more mindful of when they implement it should see better results. Use it wisely and I’ll see you on the pitch.”
As the UK reaches peak gaming with sales booming, Stakester offers gamers of any level the chance to back themselves and compete against real people from around the world to win money and prizes.
The platform has seen a staggering 3000% rise in active users since the start of lockdown, as the pandemic causes a major shift in entertainment habits. In the last month alone, the platform has seen a 2800% increase in competitions amongst its users, across multiple geographies including the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Romania and Poland.