Esports and video games are hugely popular virtually the world. They are unconfined entertainment for millions of fans, but moreover a lucrative source of income for professional players. However, in the world of gaming, not everything is just fun and games. The most viperous speciality is the value of time that players spend sitting lanugo while playing the game itself. Whilst for regular players it can midpoint just a few hours a week, professional e-athletes practise for up to 8 hours a day. There are various health risks and problems associated with this that make gaming an unhealthy activity. However, it is often only well-nigh how each individual approaches this issue, and despite the impending problems, gaming can moreover be washed-up in a healthy way. How? We’ll tell you in today’s article.
What are unhealthy gaming habits
Right off the bat it should be said that unhealthy gaming habits are not officially recognized as a diagnosis. Although, with the ever-growing popularity of gaming, that may happen one day. Let’s start with a couple of interesting statistics: [12–14]
Interesting statistics from the world of gaming
- in 2023 there are increasingly than 3 billion zippy players in the world
- 64% of US adults play games regularly
- the stereotype age of a unstudied gamer is 34, while the stereotype age of an fond gamer is 24
- 30% of UK gamers shoehorn to skipping a shower or meal considering of gaming
- 8.5% of youth weather-beaten 8-18 can be described as pathological gamers, their unhealthy gaming habits rationalization them social, psychological and school problems
Unhealthy gaming habits are those which can rationalization you to get in over your head.
Manifestations of unhealthy gaming habits
For example, it can be considered unhealthy if a player [1–2]:
- feels anxious, sad or irritable when not worldly-wise to play
- lies well-nigh how much time he/she spent playing
- is no longer interested in other hobbies that he/she used to do
- neglects unrepealable aspects of life at the expense of games (e.g. relationships, education, physical health)
- uses gaming to unstrap peepers or bad mood
- spends an excessive value of money on games
- neglects sleep, optimal nutrition, movement or other personal superintendency activities at the expense of gaming
- unable to quit or play less
- has problems at higher or at work due to gaming
Of course, these should be taken with a grain of salt, as they can vary from player to player. Moreover, not everyone who loves video games automatically has a problem with an unhealthy tideway to gaming. The diagnosis occurs only when gaming becomes an addiction. According to several sources, only a few people meet the criteria for gaming addiction. A study in the American Journal of Psychology moreover looked at this issue. They watched scrutinizingly 19,000 sultana players from the USA, Unconfined Britain, Germany and Canada. They found that the criteria for the diagnosis of tendency or disorders are met by only 0.3 to 1% of people. 
Who can unhealthy gaming habits affect?
According to Statista, the global stereotype of the longest lasting subsequent gaming session was well-nigh 5.1 hours in 2021. In the US, this number was higher and climbs up to six hours. If gamers don’t wastefulness this time with sufficient physical worriedness (at least 150 minutes per week equal to the NHS), they can expose themselves to the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. [4–5]
However, unhealthy gaming habits can stupefy anyone who exhibits the symptoms mentioned above. And it doesn’t matter whether they are children, youngsters or older players. A bad vein towards gaming often goes hand in hand with neglecting a healthy lifestyle. This is moreover proven by a study by the American Society of Nutrition, which followed higher students playing games. Compared to the non-gaming group, the gamers tended to exercise less, slosh increasingly sodium and unhealthy foods upper in saturated fat. They moreover mention a larger waist circumference or a lower intake of fruits and vegetables. E-athletes who have to train nonflexible every day may be naturally increasingly at risk. 
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Is eSports healthy?
Esports itself represents a increasingly serious, professional tideway to gaming that includes training similar to that of athletes in the real world. These players usually train about 6–8 hours a day, often including weekends. Some sources plane state that eSports players spend up to 10–15 hours a day playing. They moreover have their own trainers, evaluate their results and most of them follow a set daily routine. 
The problem in the specimen of eSports is also, unsurprisingly, a sedentary lifestyle. It’s plane increasingly serious than in the specimen of unstudied gamers. Tournaments are no exception, where some players sit for up to 12 hours, plane during breaks as they use them to analyse the game and prepare a strategy for the next round of the tournament.
Whether it is training for several hours a day or sitting during a tournament, such a lifestyle is not at all salubrious for our health. Below are some of the conclusions drawn by various studies.
- If you are remoter interested in the world of eSports and its representatives, you should definitely trammels out our vendible What Is eSports and What Does the World of Virtual Athletes Squint Like.
Results of studies related to a sedentary lifestyle
People who sit a lot are at a higher risk of [8–9]:
- depression and anxiety
- some types of cancer
- cardiovascular diseases
- more tiredness than when standing
Esports players and unstudied gamers are moreover exposed to these risks. Unstudied gamers are unquestionably unauthentic the most.
Esports athletes vs. unstudied players, who is worse off?
As mentioned earlier, a professional e-athlete most likely has his own routine, which is set in such a way that he balances sitting at the computer or panel with a healthy lifestyle. In most cases these players moreover find time for exercise, sleep, family and friends.
Amateur or unstudied players, on the other hand, spend their self-ruling time trying to get largest and push their limits in order to unzip professional success. In reality this ways that they likely train for hours without thinking well-nigh their health. Fast-food diet, a large value of energy or sugary drinks, no exercise, minimal physical worriedness and neglect of sleep are no exceptions. 
What should a healthy tideway to gaming squint like?
The gaming is considered healthy only if playing games is not the only worriedness in your life. Healthy gamers spend time with their family, go to school or work, have friends not only online, but expressly in the real world, and enjoy other interests besides gaming. If gaming is a positive habit, it can be taken as a normal part of life. The players find time for it, but it doesn’t stupefy their health, and they have for manage college, work or other normal duties. 
Professional eSports Players
The situation is a bit variegated for professionals, as the team management takes superintendency of a healthy tideway to gaming. Big eSports teams invest huge amounts of money in the health and fitness of their players. They fight for lulu prizes, and any injury to an individual can have a devastating impact on the success of the whole team. These players have their own fitness trainers, they do sports and their nutrition is set up in a healthy way. The good health of professional gamers is moreover confirmed by a study by the Queensland University of Technology, which claims that eSports players are 21% healthier than the unstipulated population. 1,400 professionals took part in the research, most of whom confirmed that they don’t smoke and whimsically overly drink alcohol. 
Simple tips to support healthy gaming
However, plane unstudied gamers can take superintendency of their health. Esport Healthcare, a website focused on the health of gamers and e-athletes, recommends doing the pursuit every 15 to 20 minutes:
- Give your vision a break – while playing, your vision focus only on the monitor or screen in front of you. If you play without a break, your eyesight gets strained a lot. Your vision are dry and tired to the point where your loftiness vision may get blurry. Instead, requite your vision a unravel by looking into the loftiness for a while and focusing on variegated objects overdue the monitor or virtually you. If you want to be uneaten careful, you can try the Eye Support.
- Stand up – in the heat of playing you may forget how many hours your soul has been sitting still. The issue of sitting was discussed earlier, so you once know that this lifestyle is definitely not healthy. Instead, take a break. Stand, walk or stretch your muscles.
- Don’t forget well-nigh your neck – the neck and throne moreover lack movement while playing, considering in the heat of the game people often tend to have bad posture. This can rationalization stiffness and, over time, unpleasant pain. Therefore, don’t forget to use your unravel to regularly move your neck. You can try turning your throne to both sides, turning from left to right or limp your neck from front to back.
- Blink – when in the zone, it often happens that players barely twinkle so as not to miss anything. The result of this can be dry vision and subsequent urgent sensation. Shimmer can mitigate these issues. Try to alimony it in mind and twinkle regularly while playing. If you realize that you haven’t blinked in a while, try shimmer nonflexible 5 to 10 times at a time.
6 tips on how to enjoy playing games in a healthy way
Below you can find a few increasingly tips that will help with a healthy tideway to gaming.
1. Set boundaries or play for a reward
One of the main problems while playing is that one can get completely lost in it and hands forget the time. The result of this can be not only unhealthily long sitting, but moreover neglecting duties and other cons mentioned above. So if you finger like gaming is taking up too much of your time, the solution is to set boundaries. Set a specific time in whop that you can devote to gaming, taking into consideration your responsibilities.
If you’re worried well-nigh unconsciously stretching it, set an watchtower or a stopwatch on your smartphone. Alternatively, use software that notifies you when the specified time has passed. If you need to focus on other things while playing, don’t play online, but segregate a game that can be hands paused. Playing for a reward can moreover help with setting boundaries. That is, only without you have fulfilled all your daily obligations. This is a unconfined way how to harness motivation and stave the negative effects of gaming on your life. 
2. Stave unconscious overeating
Proper nutrition is important not only for gamers, but moreover for anyone who cares well-nigh their health. Unhealthy eating habits can have a negative impact on soul weight, health, well-being or your energy level.
It is moreover very important to stave unconscious overeating when playing games and sitting in front of a screen. Players often order pizza, eat crisps or something sweet while playing. Then, in the heat of the game, they can’t tenancy themselves and very hands slosh a lot of calories from unhealthy snacks flushed lanugo with some increasingly calories from soda or energy drinks.
The solution could be so-called mindful eating, i.e. conscious supplies consumption. This would midpoint that you shouldn’t eat in front of the monitor. You can enjoy your meal in a well-appointed place without distractions such as TV, radio, etc. You can wield the same rules to snacks. And if you want to have them while playing, try smaller portions. In the specimen of crisps, you can just pour some into a small bowl. Plane if you eat them all in the heat of the game, an empty trencher will be a signal that you have once finished your portion. It would be plane healthier to completely exclude crisps and replace them with, for example, a small portion of dried fruit, nuts or an volitional in the form of protein crisps. 
- If you are remoter interested in this issue, be sure to read our vendible What Is a Healthy Nutrition and How to Eat Healthy?
3. Don’t forget well-nigh sufficient water intake
As in the specimen of food, it’s moreover very easy to forget well-nigh drinking unbearable liquids. If you’ve just spent a few hours in the virtual world during which you drank a glass or two of water, you’re not plane tropical to an optimal liquids intake. Equal to experts from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, it should squint like this. 
How much water should you drink per day?
- 30-45 ml of water per kilogram of soul weight
- 2.7 liters for women (about 11 glasses)
- 3.7 liters for men (about 15 glasses)
Therefore, a bottle of water should unchangingly be on your gaming table, and you should drink from it at least every half hour. The supply of fresh water can help to stave dehydration, which is associated with unpleasant symptoms such as headache, dry mouth or dizziness.
- If you are increasingly interested in this topic, read our article How Insufficient Water Intake Affects Your Health.
To make your virtual battles plane better, try some of the supplements made for gamers
If you don’t like pure water, you can sometimes use powdered supplements for gamers, which requite it a taste and bring other benefits to sharpen your senses. They contain adaptogens, nootropics and important vitamins and minerals. These gaming supplements are used by players in the form of powder or capsules to support maximum gaming performance.
- If you are increasingly interested in this topic, trammels out our vendible The Best Dietary Supplements for Gamers and E-Athletes.
4. Don’t forget well-nigh quality sleep
Although it is not a rule, many people play games expressly in the evening, after they come home from work or higher and take superintendency of their regular duties. If they don’t set the boundaries discussed earlier, they can easily play for several hours late into the night. They wake up tired in the morning, which then affects their whole day. In addition, long-term lack of sleep can have a negative effect on overall health. This brings such problems as fatigue, irritability, mood swings, difficulty concentrating or weight gain. 
In order to stave the mentioned manifestations, make sure you get unbearable sleep every day. The value in this specimen varies from person to person, but 7–9 hours of sleep per day is considered a unstipulated recommendation for the stereotype adult. How to do that? Try to turn off the game at least an hour surpassing bed so that your soul can relax unbearable and your vision can rest. Also, plan your gaming sessions so that you don’t have to stay up late if you have to wake up early the next day. The technique from the first point might come in handy. Set a timer to remind you that it’s time to finish playing and get ready for bed.  
- If you find this topic interesting, read our vendible What Happens to Your Soul When You Don’t Get Unbearable Sleep?
5. Mind your posture
The consequences of sitting, which we talked well-nigh earlier, can be partially minimized by sitting correctly. What’s the trick? [21 – 22]
The guide to good posture at a computer
- When sitting, try not to slouch or lean forward and maintain a straight position with relaxed shoulders.
- Keep your neck and throne straight without tilting.
- The key is to sit with your heinie all the way when in the seat to get support in your lower back. If you have just a regular chair without lumbar support, you can try placing a small pillow or a rolled wrap or towel overdue your lower back. A relaxation and when massage pad is moreover a unconfined whatsit for lower when support. It provides uneaten support and helps to correct your sitting posture.
- Your whole feet should be placed unappetizing on the ground.
- Your knees should be naturally spaced untied and at a 90-degree wile at the joints.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed.
- The monitor should be at least an arm’s length yonder from you and placed at eye level.
- Adjust the tilt of your keyboard. It should be positioned in such a way that you don’t wrench your wrists while typing on it and thus don’t create unnecessary pressure on them.
- You can moreover consider using ergonomic mouse and keyboard.
Of course, you don’t have to sit this way for several hours without a break. You can unchangingly slightly transpiration the position of your body.
- If your when hurts while sitting and you want to learn increasingly well-nigh this topic, read our vendible Back Pain: 10 Most Common Causes and Solutions to Get Rid of It.
6. Try interactive sports games
One unconfined way to play healthier is to try interactive games on one of the various VR platforms. Their big wholesomeness is that you don’t have to sit lanugo while playing and your whole soul gets involved. PC and consoles such as Xbox, Nintendo or PlayStation all offer many similar titles. There is a really wide selection to segregate from, including many fighting games, various simulators, sports or music games. The result is a really fun and zippy wits which will get you moving. A big wholesomeness is moreover that most of these games can be played with friends, which in turn enriches the social aspects of your life. 
Playing games itself is definitely not bad and offers many benefits. It develops, for example, cognitive skills or logical thinking and moreover improves the worthiness to make faster decisions. If it grows to a professional level, it opens the door to the world of eSports, in which players wilt celebrities competing for lulu financial prizes in front of millions of fans from all over the world. However, you can goody from playing games only if your tideway to gaming is healthy. In specimen you have the opposite feeling, definitely try one of our tips above. Considering any game is beneficial only as long as you have fun with it and as long as it doesn’t have a negative impact on your health.