3 min read
Online gaming has become increasingly popular in the past decade across all genres. Today, there are whole industries based around competitive online gaming, with many genres branching out to find wider audiences. One of the most popular forms of online gaming is eSports, with a global audience size of 474 million, and a 19% audience share in the US. This growing trend to online play has also seen some states change their laws in regards to online casino gaming. Currently, 5 states can provide legal online poker (Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), with Michigan changing their laws in 2019. As more gamers across every genre make the switch to online gaming there has been an increased concern about the health of the players. Research shows that playing online games for too long can cause one to be physically inactive, which can then raise one’s risk for sleep disorders and obesity.
With that said, let’s discuss below how gamers can stay healthy while gaming online.
Be mindful of blue light
Screens emit short-wavelength, high-energy blue light, which can be damaging to one’s eyes. Too much blue light can cause digital eye strain, which causes worrying symptoms such as dry eyes, irritated eyes, and blurred vision. Furthermore, blue light is also detrimental for one’s retinas. Also known as phototoxicity, blue light damage to the retina increases one’s risk of macular degeneration and can cause permanent vision changes. To prevent this, online gamers should wear glasses with blue light filter lenses. Such products can reduce eye fatigue, prevent eye strain, and minimize other health risks associated with blue light.
Remember to stretch
Playing online games continuously can cause one's body to remain stationary for long periods of time. To avoid straining their muscles and getting repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, gamers should stretch their muscles every now and then. Simple exercises such as wrist rotations, arm stretches, and finger stretches can help reduce one’s risk of getting strain injuries. Gamers should also try to squeeze in some shoulder, lower back, and leg stretches during their game’s downtime.
Don’t forget to take a break
It’s not surprising that playing online games for long periods of time is hard for one’s body. For this reason, players should take breaks from their games every now and then.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be fully detached from their games. By simply staying hydrated, eating nutritious snacks, and getting their blood pumping by exercising during their breaks, gamers can improve their mood, health, and cognition — all of which can help boost their performance when they return to their games.
Never sacrifice sleep
Gamers often dream of being able to leave their jobs to play games full-time. Whether it’s by making their way to huge MOBA tournaments or playing micro stakes online poker, online games can become a reliable income source for gamers with the skill and patience. However, players shouldn’t sacrifice their sleep in order to attain these goals. Sleep deprivation can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, immunity impairment, and diabetes. Because of this, gamers should try their best to stick to a sleep schedule and practice self-control.
If you want to keep your body healthy while enjoying online games, be sure to follow the tips we’ve highlighted above.
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