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4 Ways to Make Gaming Safe and Enjoyable for Gamers

23 February 2024

Gaming can be addictive. Once you start playing your favorite game on the computer, you'll lose track of time and spend your entire day gaming without even realizing it. Gaming is an excellent way of detaching from the worries and stresses of life because it consumes you entirely. You are involved in the game physically, mentally, and even emotionally.

Everything is associated with pros and cons. While gaming has many pros like improved focus, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and enhanced brain speed, excessive gaming nullifies the pros and makes gaming harmful.

Spending an hour or two playing games on the computer doesn't pose any serious risk, but when you spend several hours sitting in front of the computer at a stretch, that's when the situation can take a turn and put you at risk of many severe health conditions.

If you don't take the necessary precautions today, you may fall too sick to continue gaming tomorrow. This blog post will help you understand the severity of the risk you're at with excessive gaming and how you can make gaming safe and enjoyable.



Health Risks of Excessive Gaming

If you're a gaming enthusiast, you may have never thought gaming could harm you in ways you never thought possible. But in reality, your crazy passion for computer gaming is putting you in the face of risk of developing severe and even, lifelong, health conditions that will surely come in the way of your passion if you don't do something about it today.

Below are some common health conditions that you're at risk of developing if you spend several hours sitting in your computer chair, playing games every day:

Repetitive Strain Injuries

The most common gaming-related injuries that gamers often develop are Repetitive Strain Injuries. When you continuously use a keyboard, mouse, or any gaming controller, you're engaging in repetitive motions like pressing keys, moving your wrists and hands, etc. The repetitive motions of one or more parts of your body put strain on the joints and tendons and may cause painful inflammation.

Gamers are at the highest risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a type of Repetitive Strain Injury. The intense continuous repetitive movement of the hands and fingers causes swelling, putting pressure on the median nerve. The primary function of this nerve found in the carpal tunnel is to carry information between the hands and the brain.

Initially, you'll feel tingling or numbness in your fingers, but with time, it'll become increasingly difficult to use your hands and fingers. Common symptoms include pain in the wrists which most gamers often ignore. Since the gamers play for several hours every day, there's no time for recovery, and the injury continues to exacerbate.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

You're also at a high risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders if you're an avid gamer who spends several hours of your day playing games. These disorders stem from sitting in an incorrect posture. If you use a regular chair for sitting and a regular desk to arrange your computer monitor, the chances that you're sitting with your back and shoulders slouched for several hours at a stretch are pretty high. Sitting in an incorrect posture puts stress on your lower body. If you experience pain in your lower back, neck, and shoulders, it's a sign that you aren't sitting in the correct posture, and you need to work on posture correction.

If you don't work on posture correction and continue gaming sitting in the same posture, the neck, shoulder, and back pain will become so bad that you'll find it challenging to sit even.

Difficulty Breathing

Sitting in an incorrect posture for long hours can also affect your breathing. If you're sitting hunched over, your rib cage and chest will be in a position that's not the most favorable for the lungs, and the lungs won't fill with air fully. The movement of your diaphragm will be limited, and you'll experience difficulty breathing. Not correcting your posture can even lead to collapsed lungs, as observed in some e-sports athletes.

Fatigue and Burnout

Sitting in the same posture for long hours can result in physical and mental fatigue. Gaming not only requires you to sit in the same posture for long hours, but it also requires the full involvement of your brain. If you've been gaming for several hours, it means your hands and fingers have been at work, your back is bent, your shoulders slumped, and your lower back has been under immense stress from excessive sitting for many hours. This is bound to tire you out. Not taking any breaks in between will eventually lead to burnout, and you'll no longer feel fit enough to play!

Obesity

One of the most alarming risks that gamers are at is obesity. Sitting for many hours every day without any physical activity or exercise means you're not burning any calories. The number of calories you consume daily surpasses the number of calories you burn, which can result in obesity. Being obese also puts you at risk of many health conditions like heart problems and diabetes.

How Can You Make Gaming Less Harmful?

With a detailed account of how excessive gaming can affect your health, we don't mean to scare you. We're only trying to help you correct your practices and posture before your passion starts to affect your health and well-being.

Let's look at the many ways you can make gaming safe and truly enjoyable!



Invest in a Gaming Chair

Investing in a gaming chair is the first and most effective way to prevent gaming-related injuries. A gaming chair like the Standard Gaming Chair (GC2) isn't like a regular chair, but it's designed ergonomically to ensure the gamer isn't at risk of developing gaming-related injuries.

Some of the most notable features of a gaming chair are:

Adjustable height to ensure the feet of the user are placed flat on the floor

An extended, flexible, contoured backrest provides maximum support to the back

Armrests to provide support to the elbows while the gamer uses the keyboard

Adjustable seat depth to ensure that the gamer's buttocks are comfortably accommodated on the seat

Headrest to provide support to the shoulders and the neck



Replace Your Desk

The next piece of equipment you need to ensure your safety during gaming is a gaming desk. A gaming desk is much larger in size. A gaming desk is large enough to accommodate multiple monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, and other gaming accessories. One of the most noteworthy features of a gaming desk is that its height can be adjusted to suit the individual user's needs. The user can lower or raise the desk to ensure that the monitors are at the right height (at an eye level) so that they don't have to stretch or bend their neck to see the computer screen clearly.

If you use a regular desk for your gaming setup, all your gaming essentials will be scattered all over the place, and you'll have to sit in an awkward posture to use them all. For example, your keyboard might be placed on the keyboard tray and the mouse on the desk's surface. You'll have to move your arm frequently to switch between your keyboard and mouse. This is just one of the many ways a poor desk setup can affect your health if you're a gamer.



Install Monitor Mounts

If your monitor isn't placed at the right height, you'll have to lift your head or bend your neck forward to be able to see the screen clearly. This can put a strain on your neck and result in stiffness which can be very painful. One way to ensure your safety and well-being during gaming is to install monitor mounts so that you can adjust the height, distance, and angle of your gaming monitor to ensure you don't have to position your head and neck awkwardly.



Invest in a Gaming Keyboard

The most common health risk in gamers is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to repetitive motion of the fingers and hands. This is one of the major reasons why we strongly advise against excessive gaming. However, investing in a gaming keyboard can prevent repetitive strain injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A gaming keyboard is nothing like the regular one you've used all along. The keys on a gaming keyboard feature unique placement that allows the user to place their hands and fingers on the keyboard in natural positions which minimizes the strain on the fingers. Gaming keyboards also have wrist support that minimizes the risk of the nerve passing through the carpal tunnel getting compressed.

Closing Word

You can make the time you spend gaming truly enjoyable and safe by taking the right precautionary measures. The key to making gaming safe is ensuring ergonomics. The more ergonomic your gaming setup is, the safer gaming is for you. It's basically the poor gaming ergonomics that put you at risk of getting gaming-related injuries in the first place. If you can improve ergonomics, you're good to go!