RJ Pierce, Tech Times
Gaming injuries can be pretty common for hardcore gamers, especially those who spend hours honing their craft. It’s also not limited to just one type of gamer: console, PC, VR, and even mobile players are at risk of developing them.
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LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 13: Gamers compete in PC gaming at the ‘Nvidia’ booth during the Electronic Entertainment Expo E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
People who play on these platforms, however, will experience different types of injuries. Here are some of the most common ones by platform, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
Shoulder, back, and neck strain because of sitting in a hunched position for hours on end. There’s also a risk of eye strain from prolonged sessions of looking at a screen. This includes all who play on an Xbox, PlayStation, or even handheld console like a Nintendo Switch.
PC players are in for a relatively more painful experience. Aside from the normal injuries associated with playing on console (as mentioned above), they can also experience tendonitis in their thumbs, hands, or wrist from constant, rapid movement.
They are also very vulnerable to the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome: a pinched nerve in the wrist which will cause wrist/hand pain, tingling, weakness, and numbness in the affected area.
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Since virtual reality is the most physical setup out of everything (you do move more, after all), gamers are now susceptible to injuries ranging from trauma to your hands and feet (from unknowingly hitting things like tables and walls) and there’s even a fall risk.
You can also suffer from injuries typically limited to athletes: sprained ankles, sore muscles, and everything else that comes from a full body workout.
The Basics Of Preventing Gaming Injuries
Fortunately, preventing gaming injuries is quite simple if you spend hours on end playing your favorite games. Here are some basic rules to follow, according to Temple Health:
Maintain Good Posture
There’s a reason why professional eSports teams hire physical performance coaches to maintain their players’ health, and one of their biggest areas of concern is posture.
Back and neck strains come from extended sitting and bad posture. To prevent these, just keep reminding yourself to sit up straight and keep both feet firmly placed on the floor.
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Both PC and console gamers tend to suffer from bad posture, so be mindful of what you do as you game.
Get A Good Chair
Contrary to what marketing might tell you, gaming chairs are not always what they’re made out to be. According to an in-depth analysis by GamersNexus, a good amount of these “gamer chairs” actually have poor value compared to even the cheapest office chairs.
Get a chair that offers the most ergonomic experience whenever you can, and don’t fall for any “gamer” design just for the hype.
Stretch As Much As You Can
It is never good for your body to be stuck in one position for a long time. If you also work a desk job, you know the drill: take breaks and stretch your joints out. Roll your neck and shoulders gently, stand up and move for a few minutes, preferably after every hour of playing.
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Written by RJ Pierce
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