Gaming: Tips to stay physically active
There's a stigma that gaming is unhealthy. That hours spent behind a controller staring at a screen is unhealthy for gamers - particularly younger ones. While there is science to back those thoughts, there are also proven benefits to gaming. We've rounded up our favorite tips on how to maintain a physically active lifestyle while gaming (outside of burning a few calories doing the latest Fortnite dance!).
TIPS TO STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE WHILE GAMING
1: Get Moving! Sitting for hours is one of the biggest health risks for gamers. Chat with your family and set daily limits on games that only use the mind. Switch over often to games that involve dance, sports, or interactive movement to play. This way your gamer is enjoying their favorite activity, but also physically moving.
2: Keep the Lights Low. Well not the actual lights, but the screen lighting. Eye strain, headaches, double vision or dry eyes are just some of the physical complaints gamers mention about their eye health. By keeping your monitor or screen on a lower brightness level, you are giving your gamer's eyes a slight rest.
3: Hands and Wrists - The Newest Exercise Craze Okay maybe craze is a stretch. But gamers are more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand/wrist injuries. Take a break at least once every hour of playing to do some quick finger flexes, wrist rolls and hand stretches.
4: Posture-ize it! Posture plays a huge part in your overall health. So when it comes to gaming there are a few key tricks in making sure you maintain good posture while playing. Two easy ones are keeping your screen at eye level and sit in a position or chair that prohibits slouching. A third way to maintain great posture is to stand for 15 minutes out of every hour. You can still play, but on your feet.
5: Better Together. Mental health affects physical health. While the magic of many games is that you can play by yourself, sometimes playing together has more benefits than you realize. From hi-fives to in person vocal encouragement to strategically problem solving together - playing with other people in the same space is proven to help maintain physical health indirectly and mental health exponentially.
6: Don't Get Hangry. Just like many other activities - the key to success is a well balanced diet and maintaining hydration. One issue with gamers and physical health is that gamers can get so caught up in their game, that they forget to eat or drink. Another is that to keep energy up they reach for sugary drinks. Try to switch to water and make sure to take breaks for healthier foods.
7: Get Some Z's. Some of us are naturally night owls (hand raised and waving), but sometimes you have to know when to shut it down. And power off. At least an hour before going to bed, have your family switch off the games and do another activity. This helps relax the brain and promotes good rest.
What are some of your tips and tricks to maintaining you or your family's physical health while gaming?