Exercises You Can Do While Online Gaming – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 10-Jul-2021

For many, staying fit is something to be worked upon at the gym or in a swimming pool. It can take the form of exercise classes, a game of racquetball or a few rounds sparring in the ring. There are a hundred and one ways for an active person to ensure they remain fit and healthy, which benefits their lifestyle.

Even those who might not be entirely sporty can stay fit, and in our article ‘5 Simple Tips for Improving Your Health’, we get you started on some of the basics. One of the things we suggest is to stay physically active, but that doesn’t always tie in with people’s lifestyle habits.

As we exit the restrictions placed upon us by the pandemic, many people have found that they have a new hobby: online gaming. Online gaming can take many forms and has increased significantly in popularity since the beginning of last year. This isn’t necessarily just PlayStation or Xbox owners gaming with friends either; mobile devices have become a considerable part of the industry. Indeed, Financesonline.com reveals that mobile gaming generated the highest revenue in the global gaming market in 2021, circa $77.2bn. All avenues of online gaming saw a boom, with Poker.org explaining how online poker was another area that has seen a boom not just in 2020 but also in 2021. Whether playing poker, puzzle games, or something hugely popular such as Roblox, mobile devices are as much a part of the online gaming world as anything else.

There are associated health risks with online gaming. If you are having a serious game of poker on your phone or battling away in a first-person shooter, you tend to be sitting down, possibly for long periods, and that can be dangerous, according to Makeuseof.com. Handling a small device can pose other risks, such as RSI, which is a common problem among serious online gamers.

To help you play games online safely, here are three exercises you can do during your gaming that will help you stay healthier.

Wall Sit

Simply changing the way you sit during a gaming session will benefit you, so think about getting up off the couch whilst you’re engaged in play. Try to sit on the floor and place your back straight up against a wall with your upper legs parallel to the floor. If you get your knees over your ankles and have your feet shoulder-width apart, you will give your quads a challenging workout. Hold for a minute at a time if you can.

Arm Extensions

Inevitably, you have natural breaks in gameplay, such as when you’re eliminated from a round of poker or as you level up in an RPG. Use this time wisely, maybe to have a little walk around the room, but certainly to concentrate on stretching. A simple arm extension will help your circulation. Let your arms hang by your side, then raise your hands to your shoulders. Move them out to make a ‘T’ shape, then back down to your sides. Reverse the sequence and repeat a couple of times, at least until you’re dealt back in the game.

Figure Eights

You can engage in a great figure-of-eight exercise with your mobile device or phone in hand. Sit with your arms extended in front of you, then lift your legs out straight, too. Gripping your device, make a figure-of-eight motion, with your hips as the points of your ‘8’. If you have the pose right, you won’t be able to do it for long as you’ll feel the burn, but that’s not a bad thing. If you feel a pull in your back, drop your feet and try a light version instead.

Conclusion

The key to any online gaming session is movement. Between each go, each poker hand or whilst things are loading, try to remain active. Do not play in one position for hours on end, and every 30 minutes or so, get up and move. If you are mobile gaming, this shouldn’t be hard, walk to another room, find a different position just change posture. Ideally, all online gamers should look to incorporate a physical exercise routine into their days, as these exercises will help you stay fit but won’t be enough on their own.

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