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How long should you spend gaming?

24 February 2022

Gaming is more popular than ever. Around 7.2 million PS4 units were sold in 2020, and the age of gamers gets younger with each generation. Technology like VR and AR make gaming more immersive and realistic than ever. Therefore, it’s easy to become so involved in a game that you lose track of time.

The average 18-25-year-old games for 2 hours at a time. Of course, many will go a lot longer - others prefer shorter sessions.

When gaming for long periods of time, there can be numerous health disadvantages. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Neck or back cramps: When you sit for a long time, your body can stiffen up and pressure can be put on your neck, shoulders or lower back. This might cause temporary pain. But if you are gaming frequently, you may develop chronic back and neck pain which can be debilitating.
  • Hand cramps/finger pain: When you hold a controller for a long time, your fingers can stiffen up. Your wrists are unsupported too, causing pain in the joints. You may notice muscle pain in your lower arms too from holding the controller in front of you without rest.
  • Headache: Staring at a brightly lit screen for hours can cause a headache due to eye-strain and the way your neck and shoulders push forwards for a better view.
  • Fatigue: The stimulation from gaming can be exhausting and cause fatigue in the player, especially if they are gaming at late or early hours.
  • Depression / Anxiety: Too much gaming can be stressful on the nervous system which can induce anxiety. Furthermore, excessive gaming can pull you away from other social activities and healthy exercise - which can cause depression.
  • Dry sore eyes: When you stare at a screen, you can blink less frequently than usual. This can cause dry, sore eyes, which can also create long term vision deterioration.
  • Insomnia: Long periods spent gaming can cause insomnia. Why? Because the overstimulation from the game can push the brain into overload - meaning that when you eventually try to sleep, you can’t. This can then trigger day to day fatigue and depression, as well as less productivity in everyday tasks.

Gaming can be made safe and enjoyable

Gaming needn’t be a health disaster waiting to happen. If you find yourself enjoying some downtime with your console after a long day at work, you can do so without compromising your short and long term health. Here’s how:

Take regular breaks. Even if it's just for a 5-minute toilet break, make sure you move away from your screen regularly and do something else. You can always go back later! This will serve many benefits. Firstly, you get to stretch your muscles which can help prevent chronic pain. You will also be able to move your feet, preventing foot and leg numbness, and rest your eyes for a while. You’ll feel less exhausted and be less likely to stay awake all night.

Stay hydrated. When gaming for long periods you might forget to drink water. This can increase the likelihood of getting a headache, insomnia and depression. Sip on a water bottle throughout the game and you will feel much better than usual by the end of it.

Get ergonomic gaming furniture. An ergonomic gaming chair can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing, especially when sitting for long periods. An ergonomic gaming chair is designed with your body in mind. It supports you back, neck and arms, and is made for those who need to sit for long periods. We offer a range of gaming chairs, but one of our most popular is the Ergonomic Gaming Chair GC03The backrest can be adjusted between 90 and 150 degrees. You can adapt to the best support, based on your changes in attitude between work and play.

Let FlexiSpot Help

We want to help you to enhance your gaming experience. While immersing yourself in the latest gameplay, we can help you to feel refreshed, comfortable and relaxed. Forget the aches and pains you’ve got used to over the years - gaming does not have to be uncomfortable. If you suffer with bad back, neck ache, fatigue or any other the other common gaming injuries and illnesses discussed above, we want to alleviate your discomfort. Turn to us to get advice on the latest ergonomic gaming chairs and much, much more. Contact us today and we are happy to advise you.