Video gaming used to be a thing for nerds – if you played video games ten years ago, you probably had a fondness for computers and similar devices. Twenty years back? It’s a safe bet you were involved in some sort of programming and electronics repairs while others were thinking their color TV is hi-tech.
How to prevent back pain while gaming
These days, though, gaming is pretty much for everyone. If you watch TV, you might have seen that Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards character – a fairly old-fashioned congressman – enjoys playing violent video games nearly every night, much to his wife’s chagrin.
Sadly, gaming isn’t all fun and games – fingers point to it as one of the leading causes of poor posture and back pain. If you’re a gamer, being hunched over is probably just as natural to you as staying upright – games make you ‘lean in’ with their action and then make you forget your upper body is meant to fight gravity in order to stay healthy.
Still, there are ways to prevent back pain and deal with it when it starts becoming a problem after those long gaming sessions.
- Have an alarm clock that will urge you to stretch every half an hour. Yes, pausing a game can be harder than staying on a diet, and it’s even worse if you’re online and have to ‘take a death’ to get up from the chair. But you’ll be grateful you did so a few years from now, especially if you’re a a hardcore gamer. More than just stretching your spine and your whole skeletal system, getting up and doing some yoga will also remind you that you’re supposed to stay upright – you’ll posture a fair bit less during the next half-hour.
- Schedule mandatory breaks no matter how intense the action gets. Adding to the point above, you won’t want to game for more than 3-4 hours even if you’re throwing some stretching in there. Make a rule while gaming: after four hours have passed from the moment you logged on, go and do something else in a different position for at least half an hour, preferably more.
- Invest in a better chair. You can’t avoid sitting down while gaming – what you can do is get a more comfortable chair that will make those sessions more bearable. Chairs can cost anywhere from $10-$20 to thousands of dollars, and the difference in comfort is clearly noticeable. While you don’t have to go and get an Aeron, you should still aim for a chair that fits your body well and promotes good posture.
- Visit a chiropractor. This will fill the role of both prevention and cure: regular treatments by a chiropractor will make it easier for your body to remain upright and will make you less susceptible to posturing. On the other hand, if damage is already done, a chiropractor will help ‘reset’ your skeletal system back to its original intended state. If you’re an avid gamer, you’re probably guaranteed to have some amount of back pain – chiropractic treatments are one of the safest and most effective ways of alleviating it or even getting rid of it completely.