Correcting the Problems Associated with Hazardous Gaming
October 30, 2018
THE ISSUES AND CONCERNS OF HAZARDOUS GAMING
Over the years, gaming has become a global phenomenon. From online streaming careers to international eSport competitions, the world of gaming has come a long way.
It’s not uncommon to become fully immersed in a video game, spending long hours into the night, completely losing all sense of time. You’re hunched over, shoulders tense, eyes fixed wholly on the action, giving no care to the goings on around you. Every breath is taken, in sync with that of the movement of your in-game avatar. Then at last, smile takes shape as you finish off what felt like the impossible and achieve the goal you set for yourself, almost 9 hours ago!
Once the euphoria of your accomplishments dies down your thoughts turn to more pressing concerns. Those of a dreamless slumber. Attempting to stand, you’re greeted with a sensation that you were not prepared for. Lower back and shoulder discomfort and a crick in your neck that wasn’t originally present when you set out on your hours’ long gaming journey are the rewards for your valiant efforts as a competent gamer.
Multiple hour long gaming sessions aren’t a thing of concern when it occurs every once in a while but, what if it becomes a recurring trend? Injury through hazardous gaming could be the result without you even knowing nor a thought as to how to correct it. Thankfully, there is a solution to the prevention of such unwanted neck and back pains.
CORRECT BAD HABITS AND EXTEND YOUR GAMING CAREER
As age increases, without a proper understanding of the problems associated with poor posture and the correct equipment to minimize the impact, you could be looking at some serious long-term effects. Obesity, muscle fatigue, body pains, and headaches are only some of the more common symptoms.
Prevent obesity by consuming fewer snacks while gaming and opt instead to hydrate. By drinking water, your body will feel fuller thereby preventing the need for munchies. This too will require you to take more frequent bathroom breaks allowing for a bit of movement and much-needed stretching. Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to go AFK every once in a while.
Movement is necessary to keep blood flowing effectively to your body and brain. Sitting for long periods of time indicates to your brain that it has permission to go into relaxation mode which leads to increased fatigue.
Likewise, hunching over for an extended period can cause irreparable damage to your muscles and spine. Constant inactivity will slow your metabolism, diminish energy, and can negatively affect your immune system.
Maintaining the correct posture will keep bones and joints in proper alignment to ensure that your muscles are being used optimally. It can also help decrease ligament stress, prevent muscle fatigue, reduce injury, remove tension placed on your muscles from constant hunching, increase cognitive function, and even enhance your gaming performance overall.
The easiest way to avoid these complications without giving up your gaming desires is simply to stand up while gaming. You’ll be surprised that after only a few days of standing instead of sitting while “PWNing noobs”, how much more alert and energetic you actually feel. Not only are your muscles replenished but you may even become more involved in your gaming sessions as well.
ENHANCING YOUR GAMING PERFORMANCE
While gaming, it is important to be aware of how you breathe, your posture, and what mindset you’re in. All of these will factor into your gaming performance. When you stand while gaming, you’re forced to be in the moment. Games become more engaging and immersive, delivering a far greater experience than the one you get when slumped down in your desk chair.
Not only does standing increase your “in the moment” experience, but you also increase the power and efficiency of your brain. You’re actually getting smarter while playing video games instead of “rotting your brain” like your parents would have had ten-year-old You believe. This becomes more evident by your in-game decision making, problem-solving, and enhanced motor skills.
Of course, switching from sitting to standing will cause a bit of leg muscle fatigue. This is especially true for gamers who spend countless hours immersed in their “natural habitat”. Though it may seem like a negative, that cramp in your leg will help you naturally tone down your excessive gaming habits by placing a limit on your play time. No longer losing track of time to gaming can even have the potential to increase productivity needed elsewhere.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ADJUSTABLE GAMING DESK FOR YOU
Sit to stand desks are the optimal choice for any PC gaming session. The ability to adjust the height to your preference and comfort is invaluable.
“Why can’t I just stand at the desk I have now?” A standard desk is designed for an individual who is set to remain seated. By attempting to stand at a sit-preferred desk, you’re still forced to lean in, hunched, to access your keyboard and mouse. This would only amplify the problems already established with sitting for long periods of time. Do yourself and your back a favor and change it up.
When choosing an adjustable gaming desk, there are a few factors you’ll want to look for depending on your needs. You’ll want a desk that is an appropriate size for your planned setup. Do you have a micro-PC, mid tower, or full case? How many monitors? Do you use a standard or large-size mousepad? Some desks offer additional accessories and options to help you build the perfect customized setup. Once you can answer these questions you can move on to the next step.
Not all sit to stand desks are created equal. Most come in a range of options such as the standard manual adjusting height desk to the more upscale automated versions with smart memory technology. You’ll need to make the choice between which fits your lifestyle better and if that option falls within your budget.
Perhaps you’d prefer to keep the setup you have now but still desire to give standing a try. There are always standing desk converters that act as baby steps for those attempting to adjust to the new standing position. This option offers you sit-stand capability without giving up your current gaming setup.