Whether you’re an esport athlete or a regular player of online casino games, your posture is more vital than you think. Just imagine being fully immersed in an intense gaming session, but your performance is taking a beating because of your hunched back, slouched shoulders and craned-forward neck. Let’s look at some practical tips that both amateur and pro gamers can use to improve their gaming posture during high-stakes sessions.
Why is Posture Important?
What is good posture? Proper posture ensures your muscles and joints are aligned, your breathing and blood circulation are optimized and your cognitive function is boosted. Without good posture, you run the risk of:
- Eyestrain and fatigue. Incorrect monitor positioning can contribute to eye fatigue, dryness and headaches.
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, a painful condition that affects the tendons in your wrist.
- Hand cramps and injuries.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Poor hand positioning can increase the risk of this painful condition.
- Forearm tendonitis.
- Stiff shoulders.
- Pain in the back and neck.
Remember, gamers spent most of their time seated. The problem with achieving a good sitting posture is that it’s not an anatomically normal position. The squat position, interestingly, is a natural resting position, but many people are unable to stay balanced or experience discomfort in a squat. We therefore need to make the best of a bad situation by looking at ways of reducing the risks associated with long periods of sitting, including ideal monitor height and ergonomic sitting positions.
Let’s consider some concrete tips for leveling up your gamer posture.
The Gaming Setup
To achieve good posture sitting while gaming, it’s vital to have the right equipment. The ideal monitor height is roughly 20-30 inches away from your eyes, with the middle of the screen at eye level. This prevents neck strain and reduces eye fatigue. Basically, good posture when sitting entails that you don’t lean your head forward to view the monitor. Obviously, if you’re engaged in mobile gaming the placement of the monitor is not relevant.
Did you know that 1.77 million video gamers play on desktop PCs? Make sure your desk is big enough to fit all your gaming gear as well as the computer tower. Don’t put it on the floor. Your keyboard and mouse should be kept close to your body.
The chair is of vital importance. One option is to buy a quality, ergonomic chair that’s been constructed to promote good posture by supporting the body with spinal support and a natural position for the joints. Shoulders, spine and hips should all be aligned. If you can’t buy an ergonomic chair, try to find a chair that allows you to adjust the headrest to straighten the neck and support the head. It should also offer sufficient lower back support and allow you to place your legs at a 90-degree angle while your feet are flat on the floor. You may need to adjust your chair appropriately.
You also need to ensure you adopt an ergonomic sitting position. This means that when you’re sitting, ensure your shoulders are pushed back and down in a natural yet comfortable position. Don’t slouch. Also, avoid crossing your legs or lifting your legs up onto the chair. Keep wrists in a neutral position – use a wrist rest for added support.
Some ergonomic accessories could include a lumbar support pillow to maintain the natural curve of your spine, a gel wrist rest for cushioning and a monitor stand.
Take Regular Breaks
How often should you take a break from gaming? Experts recommend at least once an hour to relieve any discomfort caused by your gamer posture. In addition, it’s a good plan to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This helps with stretching and preventing eye strain. You could also try some stretches such as these:
- Back Extensions: Stand up with your hands on your lower back, arch backwards gently to stretch your spine.
- Wrist Flexor Stretch: Extend one arm in front of you, palm up, and use the opposite hand to pull back your fingers. Do it gently.
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat. Make sure you’re sitting up straight.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
To enhance your overall gaming performance you need to ensure that you maximize your overall health. Ensure good nutrition, get at least eight hours of sleep every night and exercise regularly. Also, make sure that you’re hydrating sufficiently.
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