Setting Time Limits for Healthier Gaming Habits

min read
A female gamer sitting in front of her computer looks at her watch.
BetMGM Aug 30, 2023, 2:23 PM

Video games are terrific for fun, stress relief, and healthy escapism. Gaming is the biggest entertainment industry in the world, filled to the brim with novel gameplay design, ways to connect with friends, interactive storytelling, competitive action, and so much more.

It’s incredibly easy to get deeply immersed in your favorite games and lose track of time, whether you’re playing online casino games, multiplayer shooters, or immersive sims. Playing video games too often can create all sorts of trouble in your life, however, making a suitable gaming schedule essential to avoid negative consequences. 

So, how many hours of playing video games is healthy for adults? According to most experts, the general rule is to play for no more than five hours per day, but it’s a subjective situation where the true answer depends on several external factors. 

Even if you factor in the rise of mobile gaming, most adults aren’t lucky enough to get that many hours of free time during the average day, especially when you factor in jobs, families, and other responsibilities.

The Healthy Gamer’s Guide to Time Limits

How many hours do you spend gaming? If it’s anything close to the recommended daily limit, consider restricting your playing hours with a schedule to ensure that you don’t exceed the limit. A proper gaming schedule keeps playtime under control, but it also protects you from the health hazards of excessive gaming.

Problematic gaming can adversely affect your health, work, sleep, and social relationships. It’s a form of compulsive behavior that gets progressively worse when time limits aren’t in place, transforming gaming from a positive and relaxing habit into a damaging and detrimental one.

When you play variety games, casual clickers, or highly competitive shooters, the gameplay is designed to hook your senses and keep you engaged. If you don’t monitor the time to take breaks every now and then, you run the risk of running on auto, as your mind and body compulsively chase the feel-good chemicals of gaming.

Playing video games should be a rewarding experience, but there needs to be a balance that suits your lifestyle. An esports player, for example, could play for up to 10 hours per day, while a small business owner might be lucky to get half that time for recreation. With a suitable schedule and self-imposed boundaries preventing overindulgence, it really doesn’t matter how many hours you’re playing.

The Benefits of a Good Gaming Schedule

With responsible gaming habits, playing for hours can actually provide significant benefits for your mind and body, ranging from stress relief and relaxation to improved hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and cognitive function. 

If you restrict your gaming time so that it’s not affecting other areas of your life, video games can even lead to improved productivity and better overall time management. A healthy schedule can also lead to better sleep patterns, ultimately increasing your chances of staying in tip-top shape. 

You’re going to need a sharp mind and quick reflexes to make the most of your time spent gaming, whether it’s mastery of interesting magic systems, designing optimal character builds, or surviving endless waves of monsters. Give yourself the edge you need by maintaining responsible gaming habits and following a firm but fair schedule.

How To Set Suitable Limits

The answer to the question “How many hours of video games is healthy for adults?” depends mostly on the individual. Are you getting enough daily exercise? Do you have healthy social interactions and a satisfying work-life balance? Consider all of these factors before you plan a schedule to ensure that you have enough time for the most important things in your life.

Gamer guides for healthy habits always stress the importance of moderated behaviors, be it gaming, hydration, eating, exercise, or sleep. The one and only rule is that gaming should never affect the rest of your life. Take care of your responsibilities before you get to gaming, take regular breaks for exercise, and use an alarm if you’re struggling to keep track of time.

Remember to stay hydrated and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and sugar. If you play late at night, give yourself time to settle down before going to bed. Monitor your health closely and stop playing long before issues like eye strain, migraines, and carpal tunnel syndrome set in. Nowadays, we spend much of our time staring at screens and remaining sedentary, making it all the more crucial to stick to limited game time.

Say you’re working for eight hours a day, Monday to Friday. You’re either working from home or traveling. Maybe you have a partner and kids, or you’re on your own with more time on your hands. Add up the hours you need to sleep, eat, and exercise, as well as the time needed for any other responsibilities. There’s barely enough time for recreation in these scenarios but that’s the point: gaming is a hobby for most people, and it’s meant to be enjoyed in your spare time.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.