I personally play games on my computer for an average of 10hrs a week mostly during the weekends. In most cases, this is an unhealthy lifestyle and I agree — only if I don’t take care of myself. There are many common misconceptions when it comes to playing games and I would like to address some of these and talk about on how I overcome them. I’ll mainly focus on computer related issues since I don’t play any console games.
Gamers Sits For a Long Period of Time
This is the most common misconceptions when the topic about lengthy playtime is being talked about. Sitting too long can cause injury or even death due to blood clots. However, there are many ways to prevent injuries. Some players opted to purchase adjustable desks so they can stand while playing. Others opted to purchase chairs that can reduce injury or prevent blood clots. Most of the time, these technological gadgets costs an arm and a leg and they are not feasible to many players. My personal belief is, these gadgets only encourage bad habits. My chair is cheap and very uncomfortable and I cannot sit on it for more than 2 hrs without hurting my back. Now when I start hurting, should I then replace my chair with something comfortable or does it mean that it’s time to get up and stretch? I choose this type of chair for a reason because it helps me by reminding me that maybe it’s time to get up and stretch. In addition, my desk is purposely 2-inch higher than typical desk height (I made this desk off of a wood counter top I got from Ikea scraps for $20 and bought some woods from Home Depot and made the legs and now I have a heavy duty desk). The desk being 2-inch higher forces me to sit up straight and to make my arms and shoulders work harder than normal. Of course, in a prolonged situation having these conditions, I would end up injuring myself, however, that is not the case. The pain I feel is a sign to get up and stretch, or maybe do something else. Obviously, I am not an ergonomics equipment believer because to me ergonomics equipment only encourages people to sit and work/play longer. Ergonomics equipment is not healthy, it’s capitalism in action.
Gamers Don’t Do Anything Other Than Sitting
I added a link to my Link page a YouTube video of TeamSASA. Other than him being funny, he’d explored other ways to play a video game other than just sitting on the couch. The best part of this video is the part when he’s waiting at the loading screen. Obviously, it’s hard to do the planks while playing on the computer unless my computer is on the floor. Instead, I do push-ups, planks, jog in place, and dips while waiting for the loading screen and all games have a loading screen. In an MMORPG, I do these while on a taxi or traveling a long distance. When playing Overwatch, I do these things while waiting in the queue for the next match. Playing Stellaris made me very active especially during peace time. Watching TeamSASA’s video made me realized that I actually can do the squat while playing. The way I built my desk actually made it high enough for me to be able to do the squat.
Gamers Never Gets Up And Stretch
When I stretch, I don’t just stretch my arms and my legs then back to my computer, no, that’s a bad habit. Stretching should target the muscles that are working while playing. These muscles are the neck, shoulder blades, chest, wrist, low back, abs, thighs, and calves. It is important that I target all these areas when I stretch or exercise. All other areas are easy enough to stretch and target during exercise, however, how can I stretch my low back? Reaching my toes and not enough because I’m bending my waist so that’s not the right stretch. Then there are stretches by twisting — that’s not the right stretch either. Then there’s some yoga stretch, which I do not recommend doing by yourself because doing it wrong may cause unwanted injuries. I did some research and found that the best stretches are the ones for posture correction. The video I found is from the Foundation Training by Dr. Eric Goodman and following his simple training exercise, I personally can say that it works. So in between the Overwatch match, I do one of these exercises.
Gamers Has Many Online Commitments
The change to my online commitment obviously has caused some “friendship” to fall apart. I’m no longer interested in making friends online only because I simply cannot commit or I refuse to commit. Online commitment creates some bad habits and bad habit creates an unhealthy lifestyle. Now my commitment only last as long as the current task at hand. I’m 100% committed if I join a party to complete a dungeon or raid, but other than that, I’m just another stranger. Social activity is stressful especially to the one organizing a group event. Avoiding social activity means I do not have to witness another online drama, which is fairly common since everyone can feel entitled sometimes. Clashing of personalities also causes drama and drama are very stressful for everyone who has to deal with it. Some people loves that kind of thing, but that’s not for me. So avoiding online commitment actually gave me a lot of control about my playing habits. I can make a schedule around what I want rather than trying to create a schedule that will work for many different people. I used to have a guild leader who tries to appease everyone and lost his mind and quit after a few month — I’m still amazed that she lasted that long. Besides, I already have a real life commitment which comes first, of course. My average weekly playtime is only 80% accurate because there are times that I don’t even get any playtime for days due to real life commitment. Staying healthy for those I care about is my only commitment and I’m not too sour when someone calls me “casual” — I’d wear that as a badge of honor.
Gamers Don’t have Discipline
I know for a fact that it’s really easy to simply slouch or sit unevenly because I do this too. It took some time to discipline myself to sit up properly and to get up and stretch. Now, a simple hint of pain gets me up and start stretching. Another thing I discipline myself is the kind of food I eat. It’s important that the food I consume is as balance as much as possible and in a small amount. The kind of games I play can be stressful and upsetting sometimes and eating large meals do not sit well most of the time. Stress can cause indigestion and that is something I do not need especially during raids or during an Overwatch competitive match. I love to have my fill and it took some time to discipline myself to be satisfied with small meals. It is also easy for my system to break down the small amount of food and it can speed up my metabolism. There are other positive effects of eating small meals but I’m really not interested about those, for example losing weight — not interested. Another area that it took some time for me to finally discipline myself is finding the balance between work, play, and sleep. Sleep is typically less important for me because I personally believe that it is a waste of time sleeping and doing nothing. However, without enough sleep, I can neither do my work nor play well. The body will demand sleep if it didn’t get enough and it will shut down and go to sleep whether during bedtime or in the middle of an important meeting or Overwatch match. So whether I like it or not, I have to give sleep enough time so it won’t bother me when I’m trying to work or play. Now, I’m still working on this and have set my cutoff time at 12AM which gives me 7hrs of sleep before going to work. During the weekend, I push this bedtime of course but still working on following this schedule every day even on the weekends. Discipline is hard but I know it has to be done otherwise I’ll pay for it later. Moderation in sitting, playing, socializing, sleeping, eating, and working all means nothing without discipline.