Contrary to popular belief, gamers can experience injuries and health conditions too. After all, too many hand movements and extremely long hours of gameplay can cause different ailments from wrist injuries to mental health issues.
As a gamer, it’s important to watch your health as it tends to be easy not to be mindful of your well-being when playing games for hours. Even if the most stressful thing you’ve experienced as of late were losing your whole investment in the stalk market in Animal Crossing or getting your kills stolen by your teammate in Call of Duty: Warzone, it’s still possible to end up with certain afflictions (especially after slamming the table too hard after catching yet another Sea Bass. Really, why do they exist in the game?).
To help you stay healthy, here are three tips you can do to avoid falling ill:
1. Do regular hand and wrist exercises
It might not sound too badass like Doom Guy ripping his enemies in two, but doing regular hand and wrist exercises will prevent conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist arthritis. You also need to take a few minutes of break after playing for hours to relax your muscles and ligaments for a while.
Try moving your wrists in circles and stretching or flexing your fingers every hour. If you play an esports title, you can do these exercises whenever you queue up and wait for a match.
2. Watch your posture
This is one thing all gamers tend to forget, though you know how important it is. As you get extremely immersed in the gameplay, you tend to let your body switch to the most comfortable positions, like hunching over your computer or slouching over your chair.
Poor posture can cause injuries like lordosis or scoliosis. Also, it is known that having poor posture affects one’s aiming, so for FPS players out there, now you know how Shroud gets his insane 30-kill games in Apex Legends. (Not just posture, he’s just super good.)
A good rule of thumb when watching your posture is to keep your monitor’s top bezel at eye level, then sit straight with a straight back. Avoid slouching too much, and when you do, always correct yourself. Doing these will surely hack your bone structure game.
3. Stay hydrated and have a healthy diet
While most pro-gamers are being sponsored by popular brands of energy drinks, you don’t want to substitute those for water. Everyone knows that staying hydrated is paramount to being healthy, and for gamers, it can be hard to drink water when you can intake caffeine, especially if you’re squeezing in one last game (that can easily lead to ten more last games) to rank up.
Drinking up to eight glasses of water improves a person’s concentration and, though it may not seem like it, staying hydrated increases energy levels for a whole day, unlike caffeinated drinks.
You also want to be mindful of your diet. Poor diet is common among many gamers, but you shouldn’t have to fall into the same pit. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious conditions, which is why a healthy diet is essential to being on top of the leaderboards.
Bonus Tip: Sleep
Yes, we know this is a no-brainer. However, gamers tend to fight that urge to sleep on time, especially during a new release. Sleep deprivation is a key cause of illnesses among gamers, and as obvious as it may be, most of the time, gamers tend to take it for granted.
Sleep on time. Get energized. There’s always the next day to continue getting topping your highest kill streak—or sell turnips on Animal Crossing.
Spending long hours of gameplay doesn’t mean you have to suffer serious health conditions. While you can always consult your doctor when symptoms arise, you’re doing yourself (and your teammates) a great service by keeping yourself in tip-top shape.
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