How to Prevent Lower Back Pain When Gaming
Pro gaming can be a profitable career!
Take for instance Saahil Arora whose already earned over $2.7 million from playing games and winning tournaments. Whether you’re looking to go pro, or just love playing your best game, you have to watch out for gaming injuries.
From strains to chronic aches and pains, hours of gaming can take a big toll on the health of your spine. The good news is back injuries are preventable, as long as you know the right steps to take.
Read on to learn how to prevent lower back pain while gaming.
Take Frequent Breaks
When you sit down to game, how long do you usually play for? If you’re like most gamers, you can sit down expecting to play a quick match, and before you know it you’re still gaming 3 hours later.
It’s far too easy to lose track of time when you’re playing, and prolonged periods of sitting can wreak havoc on your spine. Instead of staying seated hour after hour, we suggest getting up every 25 minutes.
There are free apps and websites can help you manage your time. One of our favorite free time tracking apps is Pomofocus. If breaking every 25 minutes is too much for you, you can customize the timer under the settings tab.
As far as the lengths of your breaks go, they don’t have to be super long. 3-5 minutes is all you need to keep back pain at bay. Of course, if you’re going to be doing a day-long gaming session, you’ll also want to work in a couple of longer breaks. For the longer breaks, plan on spending 15-30 minutes away from the screen.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to spend your breaks in front of a screen, including your phone. Why? In addition to helping your back, taking frequent breaks also helps your eyes get a chance to reset. However, if you stay in front of a screen on breaks, your eyes will wind up working overtime.
As a bonus, since you’ll be giving your mind and body a chance to reset will make you a better gamer. A refreshed mind is less likely to make mistakes, and your rested hands will have faster response times.
Whenever you can, we suggest taking your breaks outside. Excessive stress from gaming can cause your muscles to tense up, which is a major factor in back pain.
However, spending time in the sun helps boost creativity, while also keeping problems like stress and anxiety at bay. Spending time outside will also help your mind switch gears from play mode to relax mode. Lastly, when you go outside, wear a pair of sunglasses so your eyes can easily adjust when you’re ready to play again.
Choose the Right Type of Gaming Chairs
Next, as you continue learning how to prevent lower back pain you’ll realize that having a good gaming chair is crucial to your success. There are all sorts of gaming chairs out there. However, while some gaming chairs are made to look cool, other models are ergonomic chairs that prevent back pain.
Ergonomics refers to setting up your posture and gaming station in a back-friendly way. For instance, an ergonomic chair will be adjustable so you can customize your gaming experience. If you want a chair that looks neat and supports your back, it’s worth your time to explore some of the best PC chairs.
As you play, make sure both of your feet are planted firmly on the ground. Another ergonomic aspect to consider is how far away your screen is from your eyes. If you’re playing on a computer monitor, the screen should be at eye level and about 20-40 inches from your eyes.
Best Gaming Stretches
Now it’s time to look at the best gaming stretches to keep your back feeling great. If you’re someone who never stretches it’s probably because you don’t know how, and you assume it’ll take too long. However, the truth is back stretches are easy to do, and 2-3 minute stretch sessions can make a major difference.
Below we’ll walk you through 2 different floor stretches. It’s important to note that while it’s okay to feel tension during a stretch, you should never feel pain. If at anytime a stretch feels painful, stop doing it right away.
Floor Stretch #1
Start your stretching routine by laying down on your back. You should do this stretch on the floor rather than a bed to get the best results. Next, bend one of your knees and put the foot of that knee on the floor.
Take your other leg and lift it above your pelvis, while also placing your hand on your lifted legs calf. It’s okay if your leg’s bent while you’re lifting it. Next, slowly pull your leg towards your head to stretch out your lower back. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat it for the other side.
Floor Stretch #2
Stay on your back after completing the first stretch. Next, straighten one of your legs (toes point towards the ceiling), while bringing the other leg’s knee to your chest. Carefully hold the bent leg right below the knee cap for about 30 seconds. Finally, stretch out the bent leg, and do the stretch for the other side.
Know How To Prevent Lower Back Pain
Now you know how to prevent lower back pain as a gamer. Were you able to learn at least 1 new thing after reading this article? Perhaps you didn’t know that taking a lot of short breaks is better than taking 1 long break, or maybe the floor stretches are new to you.
Since having a gaming chair can make or break your back health, commit to finding a quality chair today. Remember to search for a chair that’s ergonomic and specially designed for gaming. For more tips like these, read another article!