You’ve been playing for hours trying to nail down the move to complete the final level of a game and finally made it. You feel euphoric and wholly satisfied by your achievement. You get up to head to the kitchen for some celebratory refreshments, but on your way you almost fall down!
This is a result of your leg going dead from sitting in a tense position. On top of that, you’re starting to feel the ache in your wrist from repetitive playing motions and even worse, you also find yourself seeing a blur and blinking to regain your vision after so much screen time.
Excessive video gaming was first recognized as an addictionby the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019. Now in 2023, as the number of gamers continues to rise over 2.5 billion, , it’s important to keep people informed about healthy gaming practices so we can continue enjoy gaming as a positive experience.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled our top five tips to stop those aches and pains from too much gaming in their tracks!
1. Sit up straight
So simple. So effective. Sitting with a straight back will do wonders for improving your posture and reducing the chance of long-term injury. Back pain is most likely to occur from being hunched over for long periods of time. The back is the most common place of injury for gamers, but luckily, taking care of your back will also correct your posture and help reduce the chance of strain in other areas of your body.
Using specially designed gaming equipment, like nerdytec’s Couchmaster® , will help provide the support you need for an ergonomic gaming set. Whether you love to game from a chair or the sofa, invest in equipment that allows you to keep an upright position to protect your body from unwanted aches and pains.
2. Keep your distance
Eye strain is another common injury among gamers. Staring at screens for hours on end can cause your eyes to tire and dry out. Glare from the screen and a low contrast setting on your monitor can be additionally stressful on your eyes, which are naturally constantly trying to focus the image. Gamers often struggle with itchy eyes and blurred vision, or can have trouble sleeping due to overexposure to blue light. sleep poorly.
Keeping your monitor at a minimum distance is the best way to reduce eye strain. It’s recommended to place HD TVs at a distance two and a half times its diagonal screen size. For example, a 55 in screen x 2.5 = 137.5 cm, meaning your screen needs to be at least 1.3 m away to be considered safe.
3. Straighten out wrists
More than 60% of e-sport players experience hand or wrist pain, and the worst of these cases can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist and can result in pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hands and fingers.
Keeping your wrists straight—and at a 90-degree level with your elbows—is the best way to reduce the chance of carpal tunnel syndrome. Too much pressure on your forearms is likely to increase the risk of carpal tunnel, so ensure your arms are resting gently on armrests or surfaces instead of being propped up. Stretching your fingers and wrists regularly is good practice too, and will also help with other potential musculoskeletal defects such as tendonitis.
4. Take little breaks
Remembering to take little breaks from gaming is the best way to reduce its effect on both our minds and bodies. As much as we love gaming, taking a break is how to keep it a safe and sustainable long-term hobby. Taking a break is an excellent chance to give our eyes and bodies a rest and a great chance to do some gentle stretches to prevent health risks even further!
Sitting might have been called the new smoking, but its risks are thankfully far easier to mitigate. The Heart Foundation recommends 60-75 minutes of moderate exercise, such as steady walking, to counter the effects of too much sitting. Getting up and moving around regularly will help keep your blood flowing and stop muscles from becoming fatigued.
5. Food (and water) is fuel
Just like you need to feed and hydrate your players in games like Fallout and Sims, you also need to remember to look after yourself. Once you’ve decided to take a break, don’t forget to refuel your own energy levels and put in some self-care IRL.
It’s recommended to drink around 3.7 liters of fluid a day for men and 2.7 liters a day for women. Water makes up around 50-70% of your body weight so staying topped-up and hydrated is vital to good health and will help prevent damage to your joints and sensitive tissues that could become stressed from gaming.
With these five tips—and your choice ofCouchmaster® ! —you’ll have the perfect gaming setup in no time. Just remember, if you do feel any aches or pains, don't try to power through them as this can make it worse. Take a break and seek medical advice if the pain continues.
Like these tips? Check out our blog on how to create the most ergonomic gaming setup next or browse our full Couchmaster® range to get your posture perfect!