Gaming and Preventing Injury
As much as you need to move, you need to relax. That’s where gamers find the perfect balance of work and play.
One thing we are seeing more in gamers, particularly with the rise of Esports, is muscular injuries related to repetitive strain. It is common for gamers to develop aches and pains in their:
- Fingers and thumbs
- Lower Back
All of these will affect performance! And no gamer wants that! Whether casual or dedicated gamer, you should be able to game without too many interruptions!
A lot of these injuries are related to two things: posture (gaming position/environment) and length of time playing.
Posture: there is an ideal position for the spine which we refer to as sitting posture – how we support the lower back has a knock-on effect to our shoulders and neck – the stresses and strains on these areas can quickly escalate to pain (as many people with desk jobs will know!).
When it comes to PCs there are a multitude of ergonomically designed keyboards, arm rests and mouses that can support your position as long as everything is setup to use them! If your back is in the wrong position you can still injure your wrist despite using the top range gaming mouse!
A lot of gaming chairs are built to maintain a good posture too, key points would be lumbar support, adjustable arm rests and height adjustable, it’s ideal if you can get your feet to the floor and reach the keys without over stretching. Similar with console gaming, supporting your back and being able to rest your forearms so your shoulders and wrists aren’t taking all the strain.
Whether it’s optimising your position or pacing your gaming with regular stretch breaks and a real change of position can pay dividends in gaming performance.
Obviously we would advocate staying well hydrated and heading out into the daylight several times a day to assist the quality of your sleep, melatonin release and cortisol regulation (stress hormone!). Adding a run or gym session to this is a great idea – stretching all your myofascia – this is the connective tissue around all joints and muscles that acts more like a fluid when it’s warmed up and can become thickened with inactivity leading to stiffness and pain. Exercise also maintains heart and lung function and increases our mental performance, decision making and reaction times. Hitting the gym even for a condensed blast of high intensity training can mean that you are able to game late into the night before your back, neck and arms complain.
If you’re not the type to hit the gym then take advantage of the loading pages! Stand up, stretch your arms overhead, straighten your arms and pull your fingers back – feel the stretch of your forearms. Twist your trunk from left to right and pulse your ankles up and down. If you want to do 10 star jumps or push ups then all the better for your circulation!
Take a few moments this week to test the stretches out and see the difference in your gaming performance!
If you are the type of gamer that takes fitness seriously too then look out for our more in-depth blog on training and training goals that can be enhanced by the right nutrition. Not forgetting that you can always take a break from gaming by opening your Gaming Fuel Cell and munching on your favourite snacks!