As an Osteopath, I have seen how important posture is for people and this is even more evident in gamers; a topic that's gaining recognition in the community.
The many long hours of sitting can lead to things such as biceps tendinopathy (sometimes called 'mouse shoulder'), lower back ache and headaches.
Yes, not gaming for long periods of time would help but realistically, that’s not going to happen to an avid gamer! So here are seven things you can consider doing when gaming...
1. Take a break! It doesn’t matter how good your posture is our bodies are designed to move. Adjusting to a standing position, and just moving are great ways to reset the muscles easing the tightness that is created at the front of the hips from sitting as well as aiding circulation of blood and oxygen and avoiding excessive compression of nerves.
2. Look after your arms! Ensure that any arm rests are in a position so that your elbows are bent at around 90 degrees not fixed in a propped up resting position. They should rest lightly without pressure on the arms of the chair so that you are not holding your shoulder up and creating imbalances and irritation in the tendons around the shoulder.
3. Use your screen wisely. Have the screen at around arm’s length away from you with the monitor in a position so that your eyes rest or are level with around the top 33% (third) of the monitor. This will help with preventing eye strain and tension in your head and neck caused by having the head hanging forward for long periods, which can lead to headaches.
4. Don't strain if you don't have to! If you are using a desk, ensure that the height clears your thighs and that you can pull your chair forward so that you don’t have to lean forward and place additional stress or strain on the lower back muscles and joints.
5. No crossing those legs! Do not sit cross-legged and ensure your feet are flat on the floor, avoiding any additional strains at the knees or thighs. Ensure you are balanced on your sitting bones to prevent joint dysfunction in the pelvis, or possible sciatic pain.
6. Don't always stay sat down. Where possible for shorter sessions, try to play whilst standing which is great for your posture and may help to prevent slouching.
7. Keep on top of that posture! If you have good posture, you are likely not to have aches and pains as your muscles are working more efficiently – you are able to concentrate on your task without distraction and in all likelihood with better coordination and if the evidence is to be believed with improved cognitive function and confidence too!
MORE FROM PHYLLIS: Seven tips to avoid a trip to the osteopath
About Phyllis Woodfine
Phyllis Woodfine – Osteopath, Success Mentor, Well-being, Mindset and Confidence Coach
Phyllis’ interest in health and wellbeing began in her teens as a result of sustaining sports related injuries and receiving treatment.
In her early 20’s she had to have a series of surgeries which sparked her interest in women’s health and the mindset of coping with unexpected difficulties.
After a few years working as a Building Surveyor in Environmental Health, Phyllis realised that helping people with their housing was not enough.
Her passion lay in supporting and empowering women with their health and confidence.
As a result, she retrained in the early 1990’s as a complementary therapist, culminating in 2002 when she obtained her degree in Osteopathy.
She subsequently completed training in clinical Pilates, NLP, NLP Master Practitioner has a qualification in Hypnotherapy and a MSc in Sports Injury Management.
During her 28- year career, Phyllis has imparted her passion for Women’s Health through teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
She has strived to improve and maintain the mindset and health of women by working in the community and combining her skills.
Phyllis has been a driving force in helping her patients, clients and students to realise their desire to improve their health, grow confidence, visibility and to create necessary changes in their lives.
Phyllis WoodfineRegistered OsteopathBSc (Hons) Ost, PGCert ACEMSc
Sports Injury Management Master NLP PractitionerHypnotherapist
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