The Worst Gaming Habits That Could Potentially Affect Your Long-Term Health
Whether we’re talking about console peasants or PC master race gamers, we all have certain habits we just can’t get rid of.
Some of them are affecting our gameplay, some of them are affecting our teammates, and some of them are even affecting our health. Realistically speaking, there’s a whole heap of them to talk about, but today, we’ll just be focusing on the worst health-related gaming habits known to mankind.
These bad gaming habits can affect both your ability to game and your long-term health. I’m going to share my thoughts and, unfortunately, my personal experiences with some of these worst health-related gaming habits.
Another thing to note is that I’m not trying to point any fingers here. In all honesty, we’re all guilty as charged with the majority of these nasty habits, whether we like to admit it or not.
So, with that in mind, let’s jump straight into these bad habits and see how you can stop doing them and hopefully combat potential health risks later on in your life!
Worst Health-Related Gaming Habits You Need to Stop
In this article, I’ll guide you through what I think are the three worst health-related gaming habits. I’m not trying to point any fingers here; I’m just trying to stress the matter enough for you guys to understand the gravity of the situation. These habits can lead to serious health risks down the road — serious health risks we should all be wary of.
So, let’s stop beating around the bush and go on with the first one!
Extended Gaming Sessions
The first awful gaming habit we’re going to talk about here is extended gaming sessions. And by extended, I’m not talking about 2-3 hours of gaming with short breaks. If that was the case, then the entire gaming community would be guilty as charged.
Nope! Instead, I’m talking about those gaming sessions with your Discord buddies that stretch out for longer than any of us would like to admit. We’re talking 10+ hours here. After all, anything below that is rookie numbers, right?
Jokes aside, gaming for such long periods of time can lead to severe health risks. Trust me, I’ve done this too back in the day, and now I’m all too aware that it wasn’t a good idea.
“But I take 10-minute breaks every couple of hours. That means I can continue gaming for 10+ hours without health risks, right?”
Wrong! Sitting at your gaming chair, no matter how expensive and ergonomic it is, can take a toll on your body in ways you can’t even imagine. But that’s something I aim to cover in a later entry on this list of the worst gaming habits.
Once again, I’m not trying to scare you here, but if you Google excessive gaming, you’ll end up finding several cases where excessive gaming contributed to the death of gamers.
Your case doesn’t necessarily have to be as extreme as that, though. It all depends on your current health, sleeping patterns, amount of exercise, and so on.
But still, if you’re already set on an all-nighter, do yourself a favor and break it up with several half-hour breaks. Take your dog/cat/girlfriend for a short walk, or do some light exercise or something similar.
It’s important to keep your body as healthy as possible, and prolonged gaming sessions really can take a massive toll on it.
Go out and exercise a bit. You’ll thank me later!
Junk Food Galore
This next nasty health-related gaming habit often goes hand in hand with extended gaming sessions. As the heading suggests, I’m referring to all that junk food we eat while enjoying our late-night gaming marathons. It’s as big of an issue as extended gaming sessions themselves.
Junk food, snacks, carbonated drinks, and all that stuff can lead to obesity, heart problems, and a plethora of additional health risks. They bear no nutritional value and serve only to satiate your late-night food cravings.
Worst of all, it’s actually quite tricky to balance your excessive gaming and healthy meals. The latter requires long preparation times, which is a no-no since we gamers like to have our food ready as soon as we get hungry. That’s a top reason why we make do with all sorts of snacks, fries, hamburgers, pizzas, and the rest of the junk food arsenal.
So how exactly should you tackle this nasty eating habit? Well, one way of handling things is by filling your fridge up with various fruits instead of stacking your shelves with Cheetos. Oranges, apples, grapefruits, bananas — I swear there’s no better food to eat when gaming.
If you want to take things up a notch, you can clean and cut your daily (or should I say nightly) dose of fruit and have it waiting for you in your fridge. Once you get hungry during your gaming sessions, simply take it out, and you’re good to go. Say goodbye to greasy controllers!
Lastly, here we have yet another awful gaming habit I’m guilty of, and I’m sure most of you can relate as well. Overly extended gaming sessions go hand in hand with bad posture. It’s a fact! No matter what kind of a gaming chair setup you’ve got going on, chances are your posture isn’t ideal when you’re gaming for prolonged periods of time.
It’s in our nature to slouch when we’re playing competitive video games. Heck, it’s not just in competitive but casual games as well. If you’re not paying attention, it won’t take longer than five minutes to turn your ideal ergonomic posture into a good old slouch.
Created by Max Banfield
Needless to say, this is one of the worst health-related gaming habits out there. It’s one that’s gradually ruining your spine and is bound to cause more problems further down the line.
For many gamers, the exact slouching position greatly depends on the platform they’re playing on. Smartphones, consoles, and PCs all lead to different “favorite positions” gamers enjoy. Despite different sitting positions, though, the result is always the same.
It’s called postural syndrome, and it causes rounded shoulders, a hyper-extended neck, and ultimately, a hunched back. You don’t want to end up like the protagonist of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, do you?
So, what can you do about all this? The answer is quite simple. Stop slouching and leaning towards the screen while playing your favorite video game and trying to obliterate anyone who dares to confront you.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Like I said above, it takes less than five minutes for us to get out of the ideal sitting position (causing the least strain on supporting muscles) and lean towards the on-screen action.
But there must be a way around this, right? Yes, there is… but most of you won’t like it.
The best way to counter bad posture whilst gaming is to take frequent breaks and counter the postural syndrome with appropriate exercises. You can find numerous examples online that will greatly help you get rid of that back pain and correct your day-to-day posture.
Once again, this is one of the worst gaming habits out there, one that can take a serious toll on your long-term health. Please don’t take your health for granted. If you’re already experiencing back problems, consult with your doctor and start exercising to resolve the issues as soon as possible.
That about covers it all in terms of the worst health-related gaming habits. I hope I’ve stressed enough just how important it is to avoid them. Health-related risks due to prolonged gaming sessions, consistent poor nutritional choices, and bad posture while gaming are not to be taken lightly.
Whether you’ve just started out with gaming or are already a seasoned gamer, you have to pay attention to your health. In all honesty, I wish I’d read an article such as this one ten years ago. Perhaps I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in today. I’m not even 30 years old and already having massive problems with my back and shoulders. Constant pain and numbness are indeed a result of a decade of bad posture and gaming sessions that stretched out for way longer than I’d like to admit.
Long story short, don’t be like me! Pay attention to the hours you spend gaming, pay attention to your posture, look for food that provides nutrition instead of just convenience, and make sure to exercise in order to combat postural syndrome. I reckon most of you are younger than me and still have an opportunity to save yourself from back issues in the future. You can thank me later!
On a more relaxed note, I’ve also gathered a list of seven worst gaming habits not related to health. You can check out the full article here. This lists out the typical nasty gaming habits we’re all guilty of, from greasy controllers, rage quitting, and breaking peripherals all the way to microtransactions and unnecessary on-sale purchases. It’s worth checking out!