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Are Games Killing Gamers? Tips for Healthy Gaming

Posted by AndyLee Tuesday September 16 2008 at 5:44AM
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Via: CGENetwork 

Ethical Issue #1 - Healthy Gaming Tips
Author: ZoRrO (Daniel A)

At present most gamers, both teenagers and adults, around the globe spend more than 4 hours a day playing video games. It is clear that people who use their computers extensively for playing video games tend to suffer in many social and academic aspects. As your doctor may have said countless of times, everything should be undertaken in moderation. Although a lot of us endeavour to limit ourselves it occasionally becomes extremely difficult due to peer pressure or the satisfaction of achieving. In most cases people tend to lose track of time and get carried away quite easily. However there are some serious health issues which you should all be conscious of when playing video games.

Here are some tips which will help reduce the chances of harming your body in the long term.

•Taking regular breaks
Regular breaks help your body recover from uncomfortable positions and help reduce the risk of long term health risks. Taking a break every 30 minutes should be enforced, even if it is only to grab a cup of coffee. The main objective within this scenario is to keep your muscles moving.

•Proper positioning
Posture is highly important while using the computer to ensure you maintain a proper posture be sure to change your seating position frequently to help avoid discomfort. Ensure your chair is set to help your lower back. To prevent lower limb discomfort ensure your feet are flat on the ground, with your legs and feet forming a 90 degree angle. Keeping your hands and wrists straight can also prevent blood clots. Finally ensure your monitor is positioned straight where your neck does not have to move to view any particular side or angle.

•Repetition
Clicking the same buttons on your keyboard or mouse can cause repetitive strain injury (RSI) in the long term. Simple steps such as light touches on either device will help reduce the forces acting against your finger tips. It is a good idea to take advantage of shortcuts or macros within any game as it will reduce the amount of keys required to complete any given task. Relax your arms and hands as much as possible when you are not playing, and ensure your arms and wrists maintain relaxed position while using either device to reduce the applied pressure.

Symptoms which should be observed early include, lower and upper back pain, stiffness of the arms of leg appendages, sleepiness, neck pain, muscle spasm, eye syndrome (lack of moisture, pain includes itching, fatigue and burning sensations), headaches, blurred vision, increase sensitivity to light. Other computer addictions include irregular mood swings, unbalanced diet or forgetting meals, tiredness or lack of sleep due to heavy gaming. All these symptoms are serious and affect your mental and physical states over a long period of time. If unattended many illnesses may erupt in the near future. Remember to look after yourself and to take things in moderation.