It’s no secret that gaming is great for both your mind and body. As the adage goes, though, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
See, gaming tends to involve sitting down for an extended period. That will take a toll on your back and neck, often resulting in pain along the spine. In the long run, gaming may cause long-term damage as well.
The solution: make your gaming sessions easier on your back. Here are four back pain prevention tips that will help you achieve that.
Improve Your Posture
If your devices aren’t set up ergonomically, your posture will go downhill quickly. You’ll find yourself slumping down, craning your neck, or hunching forward. All these positions are unnatural and will strain your muscles.
To improve your posture, keep the top edge of your monitor at eye level. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back upright. Finally, position your keyboard or controller so that your forearms can slope downward.
Do you often find yourself breaking your posture during gaming sessions? If so, invest in an ergonomic chair to prevent back pain. There are many good options on the market—learn more here.
Taking a break from gaming is another tip that helps prevent lower back pain. Movement warms up your muscles and keeps your joints lubricated. Breaks also allow your eyes to rest from constant staring at a screen.
For best results, take a 5-10 minute break for every hour of gameplay. Use this time to do something physical, such as walking or making a healthy snack. This is also a great time to do your house chores!
Do Strengthening Exercises
One big problem with sitting too long: we stop engaging our core muscles. By strengthening those muscles, you’ll find it easier to maintain your posture. To prevent back pain, you should focus on core and back exercises.
The best core exercises include yoga, Pilates, dancing, and interval training. Try to do some core strengthening each day, even if it’s just planking or doing teasers. Even better, do it before you jump back into gaming!
To engage your back muscles, consider sitting on a fitness balance ball while gaming. Alternatively, start doing glute bridges, plank variations, or leg lifts while planking or lying down.
Stretching your back and neck is another great method for preventing back pain. When we sit with our shoulders hunched, we overextend our back muscles. Stretching regularly helps keep those muscles elastic.
The side neck stretch is an effective stretch to add to your rotation. Tip your head to one side, place your hand on that side on top of your ear to increase the stretch, then extend the other arm. Repeat on the other side.
Back Pain Prevention Made Easy
When it comes to back pain prevention, these tips are a great starting point. Of course, if you’re experiencing severe back pain, talk to your physician. When your body sends you signals, you should listen.
That’s all you need to know about how to prevent lower back pain! Keep reading our health-related content for more exercise tips.