We’ve all been there: you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours, absolutely sucked into your favorite game, and when you sit up briefly to check the time, you feel a familiar ache in your back and neck, and you realize that you haven’t sat up and stretched since you sat down. These muscle aches are just the beginning of the multitude of gaming related health issues that you can develop if you aren’t careful. Stand up, have a stretch, and then sit back down (with good posture) to read through these top three tips to alleviate the most common gaming-related health issues.
If you’ve spent any time gaming, then you are absolutely aware of how much stress sitting and leaning into a video game can have on your body. No matter what chair you sit in or how much you work on your posture while you are playing, it is really hard to completely avoid any gaming-related health issues. While we all have different body types and different ways of managing this physical strain, there are three tried-and-true tips that will help you relieve any short term pain and stave off long-term issues. Without further ado, these top three tips are: always keep a bottle of water with you when you game; set a timer to help you avoid spending too much time in front of the screen; and spend at least half the time you devote to gaming doing some sort of exercise.
Whenever you sit down to spend some time gaming, make sure you have a full water bottle right there with you. A lot of health issues begin with dehydration, so if you’re spending time gaming, you might as well be using that time to hydrate as well. This will also help to keep you from sitting in one place for too long because, well, that water has to go somewhere.
The second tip, to set an alarm or timer, is especially helpful if you find yourself getting so sucked into your gaming that you forget to take stretch breaks. I use this tip whenever I play WoW because I know that I get way too into it and, if I don’t have an alarm going off, I will sit and play for upwards of five hours without taking even so much as a break to stretch my back out. A timer helps with this because it holds me accountable, and it absolutely works to use the common trick that people use if they struggle to wake up in the morning, which is putting your phone (or whatever system you use) in a place where you have to get up in order to turn it off.
The number one tip is that you should spend at least half the time that you devote to gaming doing some sort of exercise as well. If you know that you are planning to spend three hours gaming in the evening, you should schedule in an hour and a half of your favorite exercise to balance it out. Some enticing options are the classic outdoor walk (which also helps with getting some much needed fresh air) or planning a home workout that you can do from your living room, while watching your favorite streamer play a game on Youtube. However you choose to get your exercise, making sure you exercise for at least half the time that you spend gaming is a good way to make sure you are keeping your health in good shape.
These top three tips will work wonders if you have been struggling to maintain your health while gaming, and if you already have a good system in place, these tips will work with any regimen. If you’re interested in taking a comprehensive look at health in Esports and gaming, check out this article from Stropse’s Jose Nateras. Until the next article, enjoy your gaming, and keep these three tips in mind so that you can still play your favorite games 20, 40, or even 60 years down the road.