We already know what you’re thinking: it’s impossible to get injured from a video game. Well, don’t be so sure. Although gaming makes for a great escape, you need to pay special attention to the potential injuries that may occur from it.
With the rise of technology and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the video game industry reached its peak. It’s no longer considered a pastime but also a possible career. Therefore, more and more people worldwide are now joining in. It’s no wonder, given that gaming makes it possible for any individual to participate in palpitant games from the comfort of their couch.
If so far traditional sports have posed problems for those with little physical mobility, video games can be practiced by anyone. Yes, you heard right – sports. Gaming is also named eSports or competitive gaming.
However, the ever-evolving virtual world can negatively impact your health. Whether you’re an avid gamer or simply a beginner, it would be better to get informed about the possible injuries resulting from gaming.
We’ve rounded up a list of the most common gaming injuries and ways to prevent them. So, here it is:
Video game injuries
Neck and back pain
One of the most common injuries a gamer, either professional or beginner, can experience is neck pain. Sitting all day long in a chair can seriously affect your neck and lead to intense pain. Sure, you may think that you don’t stay too much in front of your PC or laptop, but in time, even a couple of hours a day can cause neck injuries. No matter how pleasant it is to enjoy an exciting video game, sitting increases the pressure on your lower back, and in time, this pressure will wear down the joints and bones. Pain will be felt all over your body, but the neck and back are the first targets. Frequent symptoms include stiff neck, headaches, pain when moving or palpated. We don’t want to scare you, but it would be advisable to talk with a doctor if you experience these symptoms to avoid other complications, such as migraine or cervical spondylosis.
This is a hard-to-endure injury that no one will ever want to experience. If you’re not familiar with this medical term, learn that it is nothing more but a sudden surge of electrical activity between neurons. This injury causes changes in movement (twitching, limpness, or stiffness), consciousness, and behavior. Frequent seizures also lead to epilepsy. Many video games come with an epilepsy warning because they are characterized by stripes of contrasting colors and flashing lights, individuals suffering from photosensitivity are at the risk of a seizure. Even if you don’t have this medical condition, it would be better to ask for medical advice to ensure you’re out of danger.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most frequent injuries resulting from gaming. Commonly known as the desk-job injury, CTS refers to median nerve compression. Maybe you wonder what a carpal tunnel is. Well, it’s a narrow pathway that goes through the wrist up to the hand so that when the median nerve runs through it, it’s likely to get compressed because the tunnel is too slim. This happens due to repetitive gripping with an extended wrist, hundreds of mouse clicks, typing, or holding a controller. Carpal tunnel syndrome’s symptoms include pain and burning of your arm, fragility in the hand’s muscles, wrist pain, and numbness. Our advice would be to wear a wrist splint to avoid wrist trauma.
Computer vision syndrome
Looking at a digital screen every day is, without any doubt, not beneficial for your eyes’ health. Sure, it’s normal to feel eye fatigue after spending a couple of hours playing video games. Still, it should be alarming when you experience eye strain, blurry or double vision, dry, itchy, red eyes, and even headaches. You may suffer from computer vision syndrome (CVS) and don’t even know. The tension put on your eyes for a long time can cause severe health problems, including CVS. That’s why it’s paramount to reduce the hours spent playing video games, or at least include some of these habits into your routine: blink frequently, adjust your posture, use eye drops, and take regular breaks. Consider following the 20-20-20 rule, which means that every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, you have to look at something 20 feet away.
However, if you’re a professional game tester, you may not have the luxury to take regular breaks.Suppose you suffered any damage because the employer didn’t provide the necessary conditions to protect your health you can make a claim and get compensation for their negligence.
How to prevent them
Now that you’ve learned more about injuries resulting from gaming, you may wonder what you could do to avoid such unpleasant situations. Here is the answer to your question:
- take a break from gaming: we know that once you get involved in a video game, it’s hard to pull yourself away but remember that health is your priority. It’s recommended to take a break every 15 minutes or at least every few hours. In that time, consider going outside, take a breath of fresh air, walk, and stretch. This is incredibly helpful, mainly when you forget about the outside world when exploring the virtual one.
- maintain a good posture: as we already mentioned, neck and back pain are due to poor posture. So, be mindful of your posture and constantly remind yourself to sit up straight. Be also careful that your feet firmly touch the floor.
- consider your seat: opt for a specially designed chair to support a good posture. Gaming chairs are usually manufactured with this in mind, but if you don’t afford one, consider using props to keep your posture while playing your favorite video game.
- stretch as much as you can: look at this as an opportunity to improve your mobility – stand up and sit down, roll your shoulders, move your neck, and do it often to avoid stiffness.
Here are our insights and recommendations regarding video game injuries – do you find them useful?
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