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There’s no denying that playing video games is fun and can help relieve stress, but too much of anything has never been good for health.
While it’s true that gaming doesn’t require much energy, it doesn’t mean you should be careless with your health.
Excessive gaming is still linked to health conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and digital eye strain.
To overcome these, maintaining good habits is the solution.
Some people play games just for fun. Others choose it as a career path.
Those who do it because it’s their job often sit on their PCs for hours to practice, which can be bad for health.
So, what to you do, then? You can follow a healthy gaming lifestyle.
Tips to Staying Healthy While Gaming
Here are some common problems associated with prolonged game time and how to deal with them:
1. Digital Eye Strain
Gaming often puts you in a situation where you stare at the screen for hours at a time.
This can lead to what’s known as digital eye strain.
There are some symptoms that follow, such as blurry vision, itching, and dryness.
Besides ongoing exposure of light coming out of the digital screen, this could happen because you rarely blink throughout the gaming session.
Maybe you’re too hooked with the game, so you blink less.
How to prevent eye strain from digital devices?
To prevent digital eye strain from progressing, blink your eyes every now and then.
Don’t be too focused on the screen. You can practice this especially if you play games frequently and over long periods of time.
Another solution is to take regular breaks.
Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule?
Basically, it tells you to take a break every 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
This can help delay the onset of eye fatigue. Adjusting the room and screen brightness also does wonders.
Don’t play in the dark as it’s straining to the eyes. There should be some light coming from the surroundings.
You can also lower the screen brightness in case it’s overly bright.
Last but not least, wear gaming glasses to ward off the negative effects of blue light exposure.
These products are very popular. For reference, you can look at our best selling product below:
Also Read: How to Warm-Up Hands for Gaming?
2. Obesity and Overweight
Is there any connection between gaming and obesity?
A sedentary lifestyle has long been linked to problems like obesity.
That amount of calories burned in gaming is nowhere close to those in physical exercise.
Add it to the fact that gaming makes you crave food more, this is a perfect recipe for a weight gain disaster.
For this reason, it’s important to set limits on game time.
The more you spend time on your laptop, the less time you have to work out.
This causes all the calories consumed to accumulate in your body, which will be stored as fat if you don’t burn them.
Obesity and Overweight Treatment & Prevention
Since weight gain stems from consumption of high-calorie foods, you should limit the intake.
It’s tempting to eat junk food and unhealthy snacks, but for the sake of your health, avoid them at all costs.
If you can’t completely steer clear of them, eat less.
Being sedentary is a problem in itself. When it’s followed by bad eating habits, this can cause severe problems in the future.
If possible, count the calories, so that you don’t eat more than you can burn daily.
Regular exercise is also necessary. Whether gaming is a recreational thing or a job, don’t forget to move the body during breaks.
Also, don’t drink your sugar. Sweet beverages are indeed delicious, but they give nothing except empty calories.
If you want to gorge on a tasty treat without worrying about potential side effects, eat healthy snacks like this one:
Or if you want to keep tabs on calorie intake, you can consider buying this device:
Gaming isn’t really the kind of activity that makes you lose water quickly.
However, it’s still important to stay hydrated as it ensures proper functioning of the body.
We constantly lose water through perspiration, digestion, and sweating. It needs to be replenished from time to time.
When you feel thirsty, that means the brain is telling you to increase liquid intake.
Water is essential to the human body because it helps flush toxins out of the body, improve digestion, and regulate body temperature.
How do you know if you’re well hydrated or not?
Thirst is one of the common symptoms.
The color of the urine also changes as dehydration sets in. Normal urine is yellowish in color.
If it becomes darker than usual, time to up the water intake.
Dehydration Treatment & Prevention
Obviously, the most effective way to rehydrate is by drinking water.
You can also replenish lost water by drinking tea and coffee.
If there’s some fruit in the fridge, you can also eat it.
As we know, fruits contain lots of water. Besides, fruits have other health benefits since they’re highly nutritious.
So that you don’t forget to drink, keeping a water bottle close by is a good idea.
Here’s one to consider:
4. Back pain
Back pain can occur to anyone who spends a lot of time sitting, in which the average pro gamer does.
This can be caused by bad posture.
Many people aren’t aware until they experience it themselves. Before it’s too late, learn how to sit properly on your chair.
Poor posture has long been linked to low back pain.
If you feel aching pain in the lower back area, then it probably indicates that you’ve developed this condition.
It won’t go away until you do something to lessen the pain.
If you maintain your slouched position or any position that caused it, it would persist.
Back Pain Relief
Try to identify the underlying problem.
If it has to do with how the monitor is positioned below resting eye level, then elevate it slightly.
If it’s caused by an improper chair, replace it with one that sports an ergonomic design.
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Pain management is also important. It’s hard to focus on the game when the pain remains or even worsens.
It won’t go away especially if you keep putting pressure on the neck and back.
You should find the root of the problem. Once you know what’s happening, time to seek pain reliever.
If the pain is not too excruciating, you can try other alternatives, like ice pack and massage therapy.
There are many products available that can help ease pain.
These are some that you can consider:
5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you’re not new to eSports, you may have heard of this term a lot.
Apparently, it’s associated with improper use of peripherals.
It’s described as pain that arises from ongoing pressure on the median nerve.
For the record, the median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow pathway on the palm side of the hand.
You may unintentionally puts a lot of pressure on it while using the keyboard.
The constant pressure over long periods of time can cause it to become inflamed.
This condition isn’t just prevalent among gamers. Anyone who uses a computer a lot is at risk of developing it.
There are some symptoms to be concerned about, such as numbness, tingling sensation, and hand weakness (unable to hold an object like usual.)
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Prevention is better than cure. But in case you notice some symptoms, better consult your physician.
It’s necessary to seek medical help because it can get worse if left untreated.
Don’t rely on articles to self-medicate even if the symptoms are mild.
Make an appointment with your doctor to seek a solution.
Depending on the severity, surgical intervention may be advised.
If nothing happens, yet, do something to prevent it. Here are some useful tips:
- Keep your wrists straight when typing on the keyboard.
- Avoid repetitive flexing of the wrists.
- Don’t hold the mouse tightly as it leads to tension in the area.
- Take frequent breaks if you go through long gaming sessions.
- Do some stretching before playing. You can also do it during breaks.
Mice are usually designed horizontally, but there are some made vertically to reduce strain, like the following product:
6. Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries can occur to those who use their hands a lot.
If you pursue a career as an eSports player, your hands are your greatest asset.
An injury to one of the hands can force you to take some time off work for recovery.
You probably should take a rest for weeks or even months to speed up the healing process.
In the worst scenario, it’s possible that the hand would lose some of its functions.
For a pro player, this is clearly a big concern.
RSI happens due to repetitive movement of the hand, which leads to inflammation of the tendons.
It can manifest as pain and swelling in the affected area.
Repetitive Strain Injuries Treatment
There are some treatment options available for this condition, such as medication, physiotherapy, and surgery.
Of course, you need to consult your physician to find the best solution.
Prevention is also recommended if this has yet to happen.
The best thing you can do is avoid any strain in the wrist while playing.
Keep it in a neutral position.
FAQs – Stay Fit While Gaming
1. Is gaming bad for health?
Gaming isn’t bad for health as long as it’s done in moderation.
It’s when the activity is done in excess that it starts causing negative effects on health.
First, gaming makes you sit for hours, which counts as a bad habit.
Second, gaming may affect your health due to prolonged exposure of blue light coming out of the monitor.
Third, gaming can elicit food cravings.
As a result, you’ll eat more and weight gain can occur as a result.
2. Can gamers be healthy?
Yes, you can stay healthy while being a Pro Gamer.
There are some actions to take if you want to maintain good health.
For example, take frequent breaks between gaming sessions, so that the muscles and eyes have time to relax.
You can also do exercise several times a week to get fit and burn excess calories.
Don’t underestimate the importance of warming up before your game.
This is a good way to prevent injury. Just like how you need stretching before working out, gaming needs it, too.
Another simple but important thing to do is, don’t forget to drink to keep the body hydrated.
3. How much gaming a day is healthy?
It’s advised to not play more than 2 hours a day.
Pro gamers play much longer because they have to train to improve skills.
But if you do it more for recreational purposes, then there’s no reason to overdo it because it can compromise your health.
Your eyes, joints, muscles, all can be affected by excessive gaming.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Gaming Habits
Too much of something is never good.
We know that playing video games is fun, but this activity requires you to look at the screen and sit for hours, which can adversely affect health.
Gaming is not a bad thing just like watching TV isn’t. However, it can lead to an addiction, which can trigger other problems.
Hence, please learn how to control yourself. Don’t play too much especially if you don’t have a reason to do so.
What about professional players?
Well, they make a living out of doing it, but even so, they take preventive measures to ensure that they can play for longer durations without a problem.
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