How to Stay Healthy While Gaming
"Gamers don't die, they respawn"—Unkown
Since the first game was invented, the number of gamers has continued to rise steadily. However, today, we have a great number of gamers, who play games, either for their career or as a hobby. But what do all those gamers have in common? They all spend a lot of time in front of their computers, Xboxes, and Play Stations. And they are all at risk of developing some of the “gamer” diseases, just because they spend a lot of time sitting and looking at the computer screens. So, if you do consider yourself a gamer, you should know the ways of staying healthy and fit.
Most Common “Gamer” Diseases
Eye strain is one of the most common diseases any gamer could get. This occurs because gamers pay a lot of attention to what’s going on on the screen and they tend to blink less. This constant eye movement and refocusing that is needed in order to stay in the game puts a lot of pressure on the eyes. This latter leads to fatigue, pain in the eyes, headaches, dry eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Obesity is another most common health problem among gamers, since they spend a lot of time sitting. This also carries other health risks, such as high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, diabetes, etc. The main cause of obesity is the lack of physical activity and eating junk food in front of a computer for hours. However, it can be easily prevented.
Muscle and Joint Issues
Since most of the games require your muscles and joints to engage in dozens of repetitive movements for hours, the whole musculoskeletal system suffers plenty of damage. You might be overusing your hand or thumbs, putting a lot of pressure on your wrists and this can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, painful disorders and many other problems with muscles and joints.
Take Regular Breaks
It’s a fact that we get carried away playing games and our bodies and minds do need a break. So, make a plan on how you would like to take those breaks. For example, you can do one level and go make a sandwich. Then, after another level, eat that sandwich. After another one, you can make yourself coffee or tea. No matter how you plan it, just make sure you take breaks at least every hour or so. This way, your body will get to rest for a bit.
Invest in the Equipment
There will be a lot of sitting in front of a screen when playing games, especially if this is part of your career. The first thing to invest in is a proper chair. There are dozens of manufacturers of chairs designed just for gamers. Do a little research and find a gaming chair that is going to suit your needs. But the most important thing is the lumbar support, so you won’t hurt your back while sitting for too long. The next thing is a padded mouse pad to protect your wrist and even glasses with extra protection from the blue screen. Also, pay attention to your posture and how far the screen is so you would put less stress on your eyes, neck and back.
As a gamer, you’re probably spending hours cooped up in a room with no fresh air or even daylight. However, your body could use a bit of fresh air and sun in order to stay healthy. So, you can leave a window opened just a bit for a smidge of fresh air. Also, you can use a few of the house plants to clear that air and provide you with fresh oxygen. But, make sure you go for a walk regularly so you can stretch your body, burn some calories and breathe in some fresh air normally.
Everyone needs to exercise a few times a week, but if you’re sitting as much as a gamer does, you must be physically active. Join a local gym, start running in the mornings, go to pilates, martial arts or whatever else comes to your mind. You can even rely on stationary bikes in your game room and play on the console while cycling if you still want to do both things at the same time. The choice is yours, but exercising and light stretching at least four times a week are a must in order to stay healthy and in shape.
Everyone loves gaming and plenty of us dream of it becoming our careers. That is possible, especially since e-sports have been accepted as sports. However, there is a lot of sitting and spending time in a closed dark room, so make sure you take care of your health in a proper way. Not only will you stay fit, but you will avoid risks of any serious diseases a lot of careless gamers have.