How to Stay Healthy While Playing Video Games? – For many, playing video games is a great hobby where you can escape from your daily life and relax for a while. Much the same as getting sucked into a great movie, book or TV show. However, spending too much time sitting on your gaming PC can lead to some health problems.
Not to fear! These problems are easily avoidable as long as you adopt more healthy habits while you play. With our tips on staying healthy while playing video games, you can stay mentally and physically fit while you indulge your favourite hobby.
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Give your eyes a rest
Staring at your screen for hours isn’t great for your eyes. It can cause eye strain, blurred vision, headaches and even more serious problems. While this sounds scary, it’s easily avoidable by just giving your eyes a break once in a while. There’s a handy 20-20-20 rule where you take a break from your screen every 20 minutes to focus on an object for at least 20 seconds. It’s a good opportunity to glance out your window and people watch for a bit. Another great option to protect your eyes is using computer glasses that block the harmful blue light rays that could cause eye discomfort, headaches and trouble sleeping.
It’s also a good idea to check the brightness of your monitor and make sure it’s not too bright. Brightness settings are also available in most games’ individual settings where you’ll be asked to adjust the brightness before jumping in for the first time. Not only does this help with eye strain but you also experience the game’s graphics exactly as the developers intended.
Don’t put gaming before sleep
All of us have loved a game so much that you continue playing into the wee hours of the morning. These extra hours of gaming can be incredibly detrimental to your sleep cycle. Anyone who’s experienced sleep deprivation knows how it can make an average day seem like a tough climb uphill. Making sure you get a good night’s sleep is essential to staying healthy while playing video games
It’s best to stop staring at a screen at least an hour before you go to bed so you can get a full night’s rest. If you have trouble sleeping then you can download browser extensions such as Screen Shader which reduces the blue light impact of your screen with a yellow tint that’s easier on your eyes to reduce eye strain and gets you a better nights sleep. You can even get blue light compressor glasses if you want to look stylish while you game.
Exercising while gaming
Wouldn’t it be great if you could exercise while gaming at the same time? Well, it’s entirely possible to do so! By purchasing yourself an under desk bike you can burn some calories while you game! The bikes are just a set of pedals that can fit under any desk and simulate exercises similar to walking.
If you want something a bit more involved, then invest in a VR headset and some games that encourage you to work out. A game like Beat Sabre is a rhythm game where you use two lightsabers to hit blocks in time to the music. It’s great for a cardio workout if you really get into it. For leg day, a game like Hot Squat 2 has a bunch of walls that advance towards you while you have to squat to stay in the game. It’s a great arcade-like way to work out your legs! There’s plenty of VR exercise games out there so you can make your workout routine a little more fun.
Maintain good posture
It’s easy to start slouching when you’re getting into a game. You lean forward as you get invested in what you’re playing which can throw your posture out of whack. While it’s a good idea to get yourself a professional gaming chair that gives you additional back support, you can maintain good posture in just about any desk chair.
All you have to do is make sure you sit up straight, keep your head above your shoulder with your back all the way in the seat. Your feet should be flat and your knees should be even with each other. Keeping good posture is essential for staying healthy while playing video games so you can avoid any long-term muscle and back problems.
Take regular breaks
Staying in one place for a long time won’t do you any good, mentally or physically. Getting up frequently for five minutes every hour is good to keep blood circulating and your mind at ease. You’ll need to keep yourself hydrated and energised so getting up for a drink or making a meal is a great excuse to take a break from the game and give your mind a rest.
Don’t forget your hands and wrists need a break too! Be sure to move your wrists in a circle and flex your fingers at least once every hour. Doing this avoids some nasty problems like carpal tunnel and wrist strain. Plenty of games have enough downtime for you to take a break and rest whenever you need to.
Keep Your Gaming Healthy
It’s easy to see gaming as a lazy habit but it’s certainly not the case. There’s plenty of ways to maintain good health both mentally and physically while you’re gaming. By doing just a couple of our tips you’ll be able to play games with a good mind and in good health!
James Sayers has a passion for writing on media such as music, film and video games. He works at Tillison Consulting as an SEO Campaign Manager working on blog content and SEO improvements for clients.