Are you are a heavy video game player? The same movements you make with your game consoles over and over or the repetitive use of your computer using the keyboard or mouse can result in repetitive strain injuries, especially when you don’t take breaks. Some of the repetitive injuries you may suffer include injuries to the nerves, shoulders, neck, muscles and tendons, hands, elbows, arms, wrists, and fingers. The injuries often start of as strains. If you ignore these injuries, you may suffer long-term damages eventually. For this reason, here are a few tips on how you can relieve some of the common heavy video game related injuries.
How To Relieve Eye Strain
Eye strain is one of the most common problems associated with heavy video gaming. There are a number of ways you can use to relieve eye strain:
Exercise your eyes –The easiest way to exercise your eyes while gaming is to blink more often. Blinking is critical because it moistens your eyes preventing irritation and dryness, which are major causes of eye strain. Therefore, blink repeatedly after every few minutes to keep your eyes moist throughout your gaming sessions.
You can also exercise your eyes by focusing on a distant object away from your computer or gaming device for a few seconds after every couple of minutes. Doing this reduces focusing fatigue, which is also a major cause of eye strain.
Use proper lighting –
Excessive bright light both outdoor and indoor can also cause eye strain. To eliminate exterior lighting, close the drapes, blinds or shades. For harsh interior lighting, modify your gaming room or location to have fewer fluorescent tubes or light bulbs. Alternatively, you can go for low intensity tubes and bulbs. Consider positioning your screen or monitor so that the windows are to the side. This will prevent direct light from outside.
Overhead fluorescent lights can sometimes contribute to eye strain. Therefore, if you cannot turn them off, consider using floor lamps, which provide indirect incandescent lighting instead.
You should also minimize glare on finished surfaces and walls and from reflections off your computer screen. For the walls and surfaces, you can consider painting with darker shades or colors. To prevent eye strain from computer screen reflections, install an anti-glare screen. You can also opt to use a computer hood in cases where you cannot reduce the outdoor light.
It is also imperative to adjust the display settings of the screen you are using. Brightness and color temperature are some of the key settings to focus on. The brightness should be such that it is approximately the same as that surrounding your working station. For color temperature, blue light often tends to result in more eye strain that hues of shorter wavelength such as red and orange. Therefore, for better as well as long-term viewing comfort, reduce the color temperature of your screen’s display.
How To Relieve Wrist Ache
Wrist pain from gaming is also common. It is a serious condition that if ignored, can result in much serious condition referred to as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). With CTS, you will have to deal with tingling sensations, weakness of thumb muscles, and sensory loss in your fingers. Luckily, there are some preventive measures to relieve wrist ache or pain:
Use the right hardware –
The type of keyboard or mouse you are using for gaming determines how appropriately you hold it while playing. Wrong mouse and keyboard usage are among the biggest contributors to wrist pains. For instance, if you are using an old mouse that doesn’t fit perfectly in your hand, you will most likely have to grip it tightly constantly and in shorter intervals. For old keyboards, you will also have to apply extra pressure when pressing the keys, which can hurt your joints. The solution here would be to use an ergonomic gaming mouse or a mechanical gaming keyboard.
Exercise Your Wrist –
Whenever you can, take a break from your gaming and perform some wrist exercise. There are multiple wrist exercises you can do to relieve wrist pains. First, you can do some basic hand stretches or strengthening exercises. Among the common hand stretches you can do involve holding one of your hands in front of you with the palm facing away and the finders pointing up then gently using the other hand to pull the fingers towards you. You can then have your finders pointing down and do the stretching once more.
Cock-up splints are also another practical way to exercise your wrist. These splints are designed to wrap around your thumb as well as your wrist in a fashion that keeps the wrist in a neutral position, which then reduces stress on your carpal tunnel. Cock-up splints are usually recommended by physical therapists so be sure to look for one for the best prescription.
In case you are in a lot of pain, you will have to perform some advanced stretches as well as exercises to relieve the pain. One of such exercises is referred to as nerve flossing. You have to hold down your arm with the palm forward and your hand just a few inches away from your body. With your arm in this position, all you have to do is bend your wrist back and return it to neutral. Doing this helps the nerve to slide easily along your carpal tunnel.
How To Relieve Posture Problems
Poor posture during heavy gaming can also result in problems with your neck, shoulders, or back. One way to deal with posture problems when gaming is using an ergonomic gaming chair that will support you in all the right places. To achieve the right posture, your feet should be flat on the floor with the knees directly over them and bent at right angles. The angle can be greater because you may feel the need to move your feet while gaming. You need to relax your shoulders and ensure your neck is arched in and supported by your spine. Your head should also balance on top of your spine.