Whether someone plays CS:GO, DOTA 2, Fortnite, or Overwatch, they all have one thing in common— a passion and dedication for their game. Some gamers play casually to unwind after a stressful day, while some grind their way on ranked matches to enter the professional scene someday. Similar to physical sports, esports not only requires a lot of training time, but also a commitment to a healthy body.
Aside from dealing with the mental stress of having a toxic game or having to think of game-winning strategies, gamers who play for consecutive hours tend to be more prone to injury, which can affect their overall health in the long run. If one plans to have a long session with their favorite game, here are some tips to avoid computer gaming-related injuries.
In games, one of the aspects of victory is great map vision, which can be compared to one of a player’s asset which is healthy eyesight. It is important that one maintains proper care of their eyes, so they will not have a hard time dealing with eye doctors to fix their injuries.
When players have gaming sessions, it usually lasts from six to 12 hours of using the computer. From those hours, players have to focus their eyes on the computer screen which can lead to the tightening of the inner eye muscles that leads to eyestrain. Also called as asthenopia, eyestrain causes symptoms such as eye irritation, fatigue, red eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes, and headaches.
Similar to a CS:GO player being thrown by a flashbang, blurred vision is defined as the inability to focus and see small details. With the intense nature of games such as DOTA 2 and LOL, players most of the time require map focus and because their eyes tend to blink half as the normal amount when they play, they experience dry eyes.
To avoid these computer vision problems, one can practice the following activities. Before one begins their mmr grind, players can make sure that the position of their monitor is not too close their face and matches their eye level. In addition, one should tilt their computer screens to avoid glare from their light source and adjust their monitor’s brightness and contrast before playing.
According to health website called verywellhealth.com, one can prevent eyestrain by focusing on distant objects at least once every hour, so that your eyes can take a break from the computer screen. Furthermore, blurred vision can be prevented by wearing computer glasses, which is a type of glass that is worn only to help one’s eyes adjust to the computer screen. Lastly, dry eyes can easily be prevented by blinking more often, so that the eyes will replenish moisture.
Controlling the keyboard and mouse, a player’s hands and wrists are more prone to injury such as the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and overuse injury.
Based on another health website called orthoinfo.aaos.com, CTS is defined as a condition that causes pain and tingling in the arm. Some factors that cause CTS are repetitive application of pressure on the wrist that causes swelling on the nerves due to the pressure applied and this pressure can be increased due to hand and wrist position. For computer use, players do not realize that their thumb, ring, and index finger is extremely pressured when they rapidly click their mouse, while the other hand is at risk due to continuous pressing of keys that affects hand nerves.
Meanwhile, overuse injury involves pain, swelling, numbness, and stiffness of the joints in the hand, wrist, or elbow of a player. However, CTS and overuse injury can be prevented through simple ways.
To minimize injuries, one can position their mouse and keyboard as close to each other to avoid over extension with the hands. When watching pro players battle, viewers often see them have very large mousepads for it allows them the correct movement with the mouse. This is by using their whole arm to move the mouse because it reduces the chances of injury. Lastly, one should make it a habit to do hand exercises for 10 minutes every hour.
Basic stretches allow one’s hands and wrist to be relax and rested during gaming sessions. There are a lot of ways to prevent numbing of the nerves, but the following picture shows the basic and common exercises one can do when they queue for a match or when a draft pick is underway.
Ergonomics is key
Defined as the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment, Ergonomics can be applied to maximize body and gaming efficiency.
With gaming sessions taking up an amount of time, it is important that one is at their most comfortable and proper position to avoid pain and injuries on the back, shoulders, neck, and arms. In addition, sitting for too long and poor positioning worsens these pains.
Due to years of studies, computer workstation ergonomics can also be applied for gamers, in fact, there are chairs, mouse, and keyboard suited for gamers. This is to address that the injuries are real and using such materials will improve the overall posture and physical health of casual and pro players alike. Through this, one can improve their efficiency not only when working, but also give their bodies a treat by taking care of them when they are gaming.
To sum up the ergonomics, here are pictures of an overall well postured gamer and worker.
Every player wants to spend their time on their favorite game, but keep in mind that it is important to give your eyes, hands, and whole body some rest for ten minutes every hour. This is to ensure that proper blood circulation is observed through stretches.
Gaming means a lot to players, so remember that if one wants to pursue pro play, or simply continue playing casually, one should take care of their mental and physical health by stepping out of the computer every once in a while to do other activities.