Whatever is good for you when you are 60 is good for you when you are 20. I cannot stress this more. Maybe this will get your attention: If you want to hold out in esports or continue in competitive gaming, you just have to take care of your health and prevent burning out. Because you eventually will, and most did.
Competitive gaming isn’t like casually browsing the web or playing a couple of matches of Warzone on your gaming platform of choice.
It’s a form of athleticism where you need to commit at least 8 hours of your time at the bare minimum. It’s a job, and jobs require sacrifices. So what to do then if you want to avoid burning out in your mid-20s, hernias all over. Eyes out of whack. Shooting electrical pain from your nerves. If you do something for 8 hours non-stop in a posture that’s against human biology, you are bound to get a job disease. Just stop gaming. No, sorry that came out wrong.
Just stop gaming in a way that you neglect yourself.
Gaming, as opposed to office work, requires aggressive moments, and intense focus. That’s why most pros lean into their screen as if they are going inside the monitor like that television scene from Videodrome to block out peripherals and get into that flow state.
I will not tell you to do silly generic exercises nor will I tell you to get a monitor stand. I cannot get every exercise or ergonomic gear you can do or buy to improve your health in a single article and most of us people know by now that sitting on your computer without an ergonomic setup, motionless and sedentary isn’t good for anyone.
Hell, even cats stretch every half an hour… Just observe nature if you need a guide on healthy animal behaviour.
Instead, I will throw you some different ideas about how you can stop this deterioration of the body that comes with gaming. These will be secondary or tertiary things you can do after properly setting up your computer space, and getting some exercises and stretches going.
Competitive gaming and health
Let’s get this out of the way, it's not healthy. It never was, maybe one day it will but that’s not in the near future. Just to name a few esports athletes that suffer from esports injuries: olofmeister (wrist), KoreanDJ (hand), PawN (back).
Then again, if done responsibly it’s fun as hell. That’s why millions turn into esports and there’s a growing number of cyber athletes every day. Now here are some different things to further improve your ergonomics:
You wouldn’t think about this one right? Well, certainly I didn’t until I came across a video of RocketJumpNinja on YT. Some old-timers may remember the horrid mouse pads with wrist supports. I don’t recommend those for gamers because that extra friction in the wrist will make your aim suffer, and it limits the angles that your forearm can move.
Meet the sportsman’s sleeve instead. An ergonomic sitting stance according to experts is that your elbow should be anchored to the table coming from an upright position and your wrists too should be supported neutrally and parallel to your forearm.
Now, these may seem like minute details when it comes to your whole body but these two will prevent you from having nerve entrapment and carpal tunnel syndrome as well as tennis elbow. Carpal tunnel syndrome or other types of nerve entrapments show themselves as numbing and a feeling of electrocution/tingling in your fingers. At first, you may shrug them off but they develop so fast that you wouldn't be able to hold a fork properly in no time.
Buy a sleeve from your local sports goods store, or just cut a piece from your clothing. It should fit your forearm like a glove, not too tight, nor too relaxed. It’s especially useful in summers and can absorb the sweat and breathe it out if it’s a sports textile and prevent your mice’s base from getting slippery.
Back posture corrector
This bad boy
Now there are exercises for your back and hundreds of correct posture diagrams on the net. Most of us are aware of that but again, most of us will chug down 4-5 pain killers rather than sit in a correct posture that makes us use our minor balance muscles.
There’s a reason it’s so hard to sit upright. Because that’s not how a normal human spends all day. We either lie down or stand up in nature and we have evolved in multiple different ways that are simply not ideal for the modern age. We still have our coccyx (tailbone) from our ancestors for example.
This bad boy will improve your quality of life by huge margins. Most of us can handle proper monitor elevation, sitting angles and heights when it comes to our desks and chairs.
Because these are the items that we modify, not our bodies
Slouching, tilting your shoulders forward, bending your upper back and neck forward. These require healthy habits and muscles developed specifically for sitting positions. What this bad boy does is constantly pull you back when you slouch and makes it very uncomfortable to stay in that slouch position even for a short while.
JUST OBTAIN ONE. DO IT! This will make a huge difference in how you feel after a very long gaming session. I promise.
Ergonomic foot stand
This chunky boy here. It’s upside-down in this picture but I will tell you why in a second.
These clottings will happen especially when your legs and feet are positioned in an unergonomic way such as coming straight down from the edge of the seat. This leg position prevents the proper blood flow to your legs and in effect your whole body. When you narrow the bloodstream of veins, your blood begins to clot and when you stretch your legs after a long while. BOOM. That clot goes free in your veins and either outright kills you, or gets stuck in your brain and suffocates a part of it.
It’s common with machinery operators, crane operators, long-distance drivers, and gamers. Sounds ironic but it isn’t.
Don't leave yourself paralyzed
Foot stands are one of the most neglected parts of sitting setups. Whether office/table work or gaming. But they are a lifesaver. In a literal sense. Allowing you to position your feet at an angle that’s most comfortable for you whilst allowing blood flow.
The one in the above picture has similar ones on the market and I’d recommend you to pick that model because it has two functions: You let it lie on its curved surface, that way wherever you position your chair it tilts itself with the weight of your feet and allows the same support. Or just put it on its flat surface and use that arch on your lower back and stretch the hell out of your back muscles. Also, the little pop-outs serve as a foot massager and trust me, these are comfortable as hell.
Foot stand QoL update is here and live. You can find this design anywhere on the net. I’d advise you to get the plastic ones for the added benefit of back stretching though.
Get a nice sitting foam for yourself , or risk shifting your spine, and one of the worst things that can happen to you… ingrown hair. That’s painful as hell and needs surgery that will take at least one month to heal completely.
Whilst you are at that, get blue light goggles too. Cheap ones are more than enough. Just block out that blue light that’s coming directly to your eyes from the screen. They won’t prevent you from deteriorating your eyesight because that’s more about straining your eyes to focus on a screen that’s in front of your face. Completely unnatural. but at least it will prove some relaxation.
For a deeper dive check out esports guru Ron Rambo Kim’s common gamer pain video:
Just GET UP and look at something
Get UP. Go to a window, balcony, anywhere, and just look at the distance. for a minute. This will instantly reset the strain in your eye muscles and return them to their default factory settings. This is incredibly important if you don’t want to damage the shape of your eyes. There’s a statistical reason why short-sightedness is on the rise, especially in newer generations. Not so hard to guess why, right?
Now get up and to what I told you to. For your sake. My back and legs are already hurt trying to turn in this article in time. Now I’m gonna go to my balcony and relax my eyes a bit. Take care.
Yeah, we all know that we need to get up more, walk more, exercise, stretch etc. But what about just looking.
We have come to the end of our list, but the tournaments continue non-stop. You can watch tournaments and place bets on Luckbox