It may seem a little funny at first, but too much time spent in front of a console or computer can lead to serious injuries. Repetitive movements in the wrist, hand or elbow can cause pain and aches that can be debilitating if not properly treated.
Of course, the best treatment is to avoid having the problem in the first place. This doesn’t mean that you have to cut your gaming time short or stop working at your computer, but it does mean that you should take precautions. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid injury.
Have Good Posture
Sitting in front of a computer or console for long periods of time can cause serious aches and pains and contribute to injuries of the wrist, hand and elbow. Having good posture gives you a good foundation to work with and allow you to work or play longer with less pain.
Sit with your back straight and avoid slouching. Slouching puts undue pressure on your shoulders and lower back and will leave you feeling tired. Also, make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor in front of you.
Use ergonomic equipment as well to help your posture. If you are sitting up straight, an ergonomic keyboard or gaming mouse will feel much more comfortable in your hands and will help alleviate any stress caused by repetitive typing or clicking.
Hold Controllers Correctly
Over the years, cases of “Nintendo Thumb” have risen. This causes the base of your thumb to swell and is very uncomfortable. Hold a controller incorrectly can also contribute to wrist and elbow pain.
Don’t grip the controller too tightly. If you do, your tense muscles will make it harder for your hand to relax. Keep your wrists straight and hold the controller close to your lap, even in your lao if it is comfortable. This will help you fight gravity easier and will put less strain on all of your arm muscles.
Every so often, set the controller down and stretch your arms. Shake your hands and move your fingers around to help the blood flow and to keep them loose.
Take Breaks Often
The best way to avoid injuries caused by repetitive movements is to take frequent breaks. Not only will this help ease any tension that has built up, but it give you a chance to stretch and help your muscles relax.
You should take at least a five minute break every hour. You should stand up and walk around. Try doing some leg and back stretches as well: this will loosen your muscles and will also prime them for another round of sitting.
Of course, the longer break you take, the better it will be for your body. Sometimes sitting for extended periods is unavoidable, but you should still do everything you can to keep yourself safe and injury free.
Remember these simple tips next time you sit down for a marathon gaming or work session.
Isabelle Clarke works on the computer all due for her job and over the last few years has noticed the effect on her health with her eyesight as well as some wrist pain. After much research she shares what she does to relive the pain with others who are in a similar position.