Video games are more popular today than ever before. According to available research, people who play video games spent an average of more than seven hours playing each week – an increase of 19% from 2018. Video games are big money and an over $100 billion industry. Part of the way they stay this way is because they are fun, addictive, and encourage people to play as long as possible.
However, while video games can bring a ton of joy, they are also tied to a series of physical and mental health problems. Let’s take a closer look at some key players.
Poor Posture in Gamers
This may or may not come as a surprise but poor posture is very common among those who play video games and similarly those who live sedentary lives. No one develops poor posture overnight. It happens slowly with the help of lazy posture and lack of support to your body while seated. In terms of hours, video games don’t have a limit. Some games take an average of 5-50 hours to complete while others are set up with shorter game times and multiple rounds. In either case, video games are the perfect grounds for your body to get comfortable in poor posture practices. This is also a big reason for eye strain. Poor posture can negatively impact the connection between your spine and your brain. This, in turn, can lead to problems with sight. Proper posture and body mechanics are important and taking breaks is crucial to help your body stretch and break a routine that could potentially steer you down an unhealthy path.
Neck Pain From Playing Video Games
Similarly to your posture, your neck can also be greatly impacted with extensive time behind a controller or mouse. Do you notice yourself leaning forward while playing? Is your neck sore after you finally call it quits for the night or sore the next morning? These are signs that you are straining your neck while playing video games and not adhering to proper game posture as well. You might not care to pay attention to proper ergonomics while you game, but if you do, you can save yourself from future pain and health conditions.
Upper Back Pain in Video Gamers
This should come as no spoiler as a problem that can appear in video gamers. Upper back pain can easily arise especially those with forward head posture. Like those who experience neck pain, when you are leaning forward with your head, the muscles of your upper back which attach to the cervical spine and skull get overwork fighting gravity to support for your neck. Leading to strain on the muscles and spine over time this can greatly cause you pain, reduce mobility, and cause respiratory issues. Proper posture can easily help prevent upper back pain and chiropractic specialists can help relieve the current pain and get you back on a healthy track.
RSI/Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries specifically of the hands and arms are also very common in gamers. The biggest pain being wrist pain and thumb pain stems from repetitive stress. Most play through it and don’t take breaks or seak proper care. This leads to more stress and the condition worsening developing symptoms of numbness or weakness. Gamer’s thumb, showing pain at the base of the thumb can be prevented with exercises and strengthening. Just like any other sport, if e-sports is your preference, taking care of your body should be your priority for your best performance.
Addressing Your Whole Body
Although chiropractors can’t help you play better, they can help those aches and pains from those long hours of gaming. So if you are developing forward head posture or musculoskeletal pain, you may want to seek out chiropractic care. Remember, the goal of a chiropractor is to help you balance and fix your whole body. Chiropractic care can help you remove pain, adjust your posture and care for your health in a holistic manner. Contact us at any one of our San Francisco chiropractic clinics for a consultation!