Who doesn’t love video games? I’ve been playing them all my life and I’ve wasted many hours killing bad guys and saving various princesses. I started my love affair at 8 with Pong, spent hundreds of dollars in quarters on Space Invaders as a teen, and enjoy the occasional World of Warcraft marathon as an adult. Video games have been an important part of my life.
Unfortunately, many of us tend to play a little more than we should and when you combine sitting for long periods of time with bad posture, you have a recipe for backaches. Chiropractors treat technology-related disorders all the time in their offices. The slouched shoulders and hunched over backs are frequent side effects of gaming, texting, and computer use.
Here then, are a few things your chiropractor wants you to know about gaming and how you can keep your body healthier while you play.
- Support your back. Make sure you’re sitting in an ergonomically correct office chair or a specially designed gamer seat for the best support possible.
- Go easy on controllers. When your adrenaline’s flowing, it’s too easy to find yourself pressing hard on buttons. A gentle touch works just as well and is easier on your body.
- Don’t keep your eyes on the road at all times. Take a break every 15-20 minutes to focus on something other than your screen.
- Keep the snacks away from the gaming area. If you have unhealthy foods nearby, chances are good you’re engaging in unconscious eating. Save the food for the dinner table.
- Keep your distance. Sit about six feet back from the TV and two feet away from your computer monitor at all times.
- Stretch regularly. Whenever the screen loads, it is a good time to stretch your muscles so you can prevent cramping.
- Set an alarm clock. This will prevent time from getting away from you. An alarm clock means no more 3:00 a.m. surprises.
- Try an “exergame.” Systems like the Wii or Xbox Kinect provide you with the opportunity to play games by moving your body.
- No gaming in the bedroom. Keep the video games away from where you sleep. The bedroom should be kept as a place for rest only.
- Don’t stress out. If you find that your game is stressing you out, take a break or play it just for short periods of time. Remember, gaming is supposed to be relaxing.
Your chiropractor can give you some great suggestions on how to use proper posture while working or playing. Learning how to hold your body properly while gaming may feel a little awkward at first, but in the long run it will keep your body healthy.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.