Ready, Player 1? How to Regain Through Better Posture
By Sara Butler
Gaming transports you to another world. In that world, you can be anyone or anything and do things impossible in real life. It’s no wonder that gaming is such a popular activity. According to the Entertainment Software Association, more than 150 million Americans are gamers -- and COVID-19 only increased that number. After all, if you’re stuck at home, you may as well play a game! Fortnight, anyone? Call of Duty? NBA2K20?
While gaming may transport your mind, it doesn’t transport your body. Gamers tend to spend long hours sitting, possibly hunched over, as they stare at a screen and hold their bodies in unnatural positions. This can lead to back and neck problems, or even issues with the hands and arms. That’s why, if you’re a gamer, you need to understand what’s at stake when it comes to your health and how the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic can help you to “regain,” or get back to full strength for your next mission.
What Is a Gamer?
People tend to think of a certain type of person when they think of a gamer, but the truth is that a gamer is simply anyone who enjoys playing online or digital games. Young children to grandparents can be gamers -- all you need is a game and some enthusiasm!
That’s why, if you play games online or on a game system at all, even if you don’t consider yourself a gamer, you understand how it can impact your overall health.
Injuries Associated With Gaming
Since most games don’t require you to be physically active, you may think you’re not at risk for injury. But sitting for extended periods of time with improper posture can lead to a whole host of problems, such as:
- Shoulder tension
- Muscle strain
- Nerve entrapment
- Back pain
- Pain that shoots down the arms or legs
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
Many of these issues begin with small joint imbalances related to long periods of sitting and poor posture. They can start small, with a slightly achy neck or tension between the shoulders in your back. Eventually, more significant symptoms can appear, and more serious issues can develop such as bulging or herniation in the discs of the spine, breathing issues, sciatica, or even degeneration of the spine.
Chiropractic Tips for Gamers
Playing games requires hours of repetition and focus, typically in the seated position, often hunched over. It’s tough on your body, so you must make sure to check your posture and your gaming setup to stay healthy.
Posture is important because the longer you can hold good posture, the less fatigued your muscles will be and the lower your risk for injury. You should make sure that:
- Your chin is tucked and your head is back so that your ears are in line with your shoulders
- You sit with your back against your chair
- You relax your shoulders but keep them from going forward in a more rounded position
- You keep your chest up
- You keep your hips in a neutral position parallel to the floor
- You keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t cross your legs or lean to one side
When it comes to your gaming setup, there are also some things you need to make sure you’ve got a handle on it. You can position your equipment for better health by:
- Making sure your monitor is eye level or slightly below eye level
- Making sure your monitor is about arm’s length away
- Making sure a desk, if used, is low enough for your forearms to rest at a 90-degree angle with the floor (the arms of your chair should also help you to support this position)
- Making sure you have a chair with a high back and adjustable height that can recline slightly to reduce the pressure that sitting places on your lower back
If gaming is something you enjoy, then don’t let anything stop you. Taking these simple steps and incorporating regular chiropractic adjustments from chiropractors at The Joint will ensure that you have years of gaming ahead of you!
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.