Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 31, 2017
20 years ago, Pac-man was all the rage, but the allure of chasing those blue ghosts wasn’t enough to keep most kids indoors all day. But today, high-definition graphics and the prospect of cashing a huge payday through e-sports competitions has kids and teens in front of television screens for 10 or more hours a day. If you’re spending long hours in front of your PS4 or Xbox One, you may begin to feel the effects in your back. Below we take a look at some ways gamers can prevent back injuries.
Hit the Pause Button
Listen, we understand that you can’t just pause a game in the middle of a round or during a quest, but that doesn’t mean you should stay seated for six straight hours. When you hit a checkpoint or find yourself in between rounds, stand up, walk around and do some stretching. A good rule of thumb is to move around for 5-10 minutes for every hour of gaming. Ideally you’d take longer breaks, but the key is to work them in regularly.
When you’re absorbed in a video game, it can be easy to find yourself leaning forward or craning your neck side to side. You’re so focused on the game that you’re not paying attention to how your posture is stressing your spine. Try to sit in a position where you shoulders are in line with your hips and your head is positioned right above your shoulders. You can also invest in a gaming chair that helps naturally shift your spine into alignment.
Since gaming takes a pretty big toll on your body, you’ll want to exercise and train just like you would for any sport. Find time to go to the gym and to do some core strengthening exercises. Activities that strengthen your core and your back will help you during longer gaming sessions. Try to find a healthy balance between exercising your mind with video games and exercising your body with physical labor.
Finally, you’ll also want to make good dietary choices if you want to help keep your spine healthy when gaming. If you fill yourself with Cheetos, pizza rolls and Mountain Dew, your body may have an inflammatory response to these foods that are high in fat and sugar. If inflammation develops in your spine, blood won’t flow as healthily and some structures may end up agitated or compressed, which can lead to pain.