When you love something, it can be hard to tear yourself away, and gaming is no exception. When you dive into a particular game or quest, you might want to do nothing more than keep at it until you’ve made it to an optimal stopping point, if you stop before dawn at all. However, your gaming experience must include healthy habits to keep you going through your gameplay—even if that’s a marathon gaming session.
Set yourself up for success.
When it comes to your gaming setup, playability is undoubtedly critical. It’s just as important, though, that your equipment is chosen with your health and comfort in mind, too. Of course, the best game controller, for example, will be compatible with your console or platform of choice. However, it will also be ergonomically designed from the thumbstick to the triggers, ensuring your thumbs and the entirety of your hands can play comfortably and without harming your hands or other parts of your body in the process. The same concept is true of your gaming desk, chair, and other equipment—ensure that your setup is set up for success in terms of both gameplay and your wellness.
Stay fueled through sessions.
Between your breaks, ensure that you’re adding food and water to your setup. At the very least, make sure you’ve got a bottle of water alongside your favorite energy drink or coffee, and that your setup has space for a few healthy snacks. More serious gamers might even look into water delivery companies to set up a home water cooler. With 5-gallon bottles of spring water being dropped off every so often, you’d be hard-pressed to not keep hydrated, even if it’s just a few sips between rounds.
Take regular breaks while playing.
When you’re sitting down to play a game, chances are you’re setting up to play for quite a while. Even still, it’s important to ensure you’re taking breaks regularly throughout a gaming session. If you have a smartwatch, you likely have a feature that reminds you to move once an hour or so—while gaming, ensure your watch is on and you’re acknowledging those notifications. Without a smartwatch, you can set a manual reminder to go off every so often, or even launch a habit based on taking a lap around the room whenever a certain event occurs in the game. The tiniest bit of motion is better than staying sedentary through long sessions of gameplay.
Turn away from your screen.
While you’re taking breaks, ensure that you‘re not only looking away from your PC monitor to your smartphone screen. Every so often, it’s key that you look away from all of your screens. The best way to do this, in many cases, is to set your devices aside when you’re taking a break, whether that’s walking around the block for five minutes or just taking a bathroom break. Try to maintain at least a few moments each hour in which you‘re doing just about anything other than looking at your screen. This screen-free time is key to good health whether you’re a gamer or just an average person in day-to-day modern life.
Whether it’s a water delivery service and ergonomically correct Playstation controller or a glass of tap water and a new Bluetooth headset, the smallest adjustments to your gaming setup can make a significant difference in your health while you play and for your entire life from here forward. If your health alone isn’t a good reason in your mind, consider this: with better health, you’ll be that much better when you sit down to play Call of Duty or your game of choice.