Mindfulness in Gaming: How long is too long?

We’ve all been there, crushing level after level, not paying any attention to the time as you work your way through your favorite game. Then before you know it, it’s 4 in the morning and you’re only getting 3 hours of sleep since you have to be up for work by 7am. I totally get it. You know the old saying “time flies when you’re having fun”. That definitely rings true for when you’re playing video games.

Aside from a few unplanned all nighters, most casual gamers are good about knowing when to put down the controller. What about those who aren’t?

Many professional gamers and streamers or simply just dedicated gaming fanatics all over the world don’t have a healthy balance when it comes to playing video games. Many gamers even play for 12+ hours at a time. All of this begs the question, “how long is too long?” That’s what we at Gamercraft are here to find out. 

What happens to your body when you play too long? 

Before we can figure out “how long is too long?”, we first need to talk about what could potentially happen to your body if you played video games for too long. In extreme cases, gamers who play for extended amounts of time daily have experienced trouble with deep vein thrombosis aka blood clots.

Blood clots can form when a person sits in the same position for too long as they generally form in the legs. Another health concern is more of a long term problem; arthritis.

Arthritis and tendonitis can take place if a gamer uses a muscle or joint over and over such as clicking a mouse or pushing a toggle on a controller. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, you may have already experienced eye strain which can cause migraines. This is also a common symptom for many gamers who spend too much time in front of a screen.

While this one may seem like a no brainer, it’s also important to note that gaming for too long can cause weight gain and a general unhealthy lifestyle. This is of course due to the lack of physical activity that many games have, partnered with a gamer’s tendency to snack. This concept also goes hand in hand with the lack of water intake or dehydration that many gamers experience. 

It’s not all bad!

While all of the conditions above definitely sound concerning they aren’t meant to scare you away from gaming. They’re meant to make you more aware of body and your needs while you play. You most certainly shouldn’t stop gaming out of fear of developing these conditions, in fact, gaming in itself provides some pretty awesome health benefits.  

First of all, it’s been proven that gamers have amazing hand eye coordination. This skill could actually help you in careers outside of gaming! Second, gamers aren’t isolated social deviants who sit in the dark. In fact, the gaming community today is a social hub where many people make lifelong friends.

For those who especially have trouble connecting with others in person, the gaming community can be a vital way to form social relationships with others. 

What can you do? 

Investing in Loss: Commit to the eSport Endgame

So, how long really is too long? That’s honestly a tough question to answer. Take a look at some of the major streamers who actually spend hours on end gaming for a living. Many of them are in great shape and regularly drink water on their streams. If you wish to game for several hours at a time, no one’s stopping you.

There isn’t really a set time frame that gamers must stick to in order to be healthy. Simply treat gaming the way that athletes would treat a marathon. Pay attention to your body and listen to your needs. Remember to get up and move every once in a while!

In fact, the recent winner of the Fortnite World Cup Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf spends 30 minutes a day warming up his hands before embarking on a long gaming session. If you’re looking to be the next big name in eSports, it’s important to put these practices of mindfulness in gaming in place early.

Ready to take your game to the next level? Gamercraft can help! Check out these articles for more tips and tricks to improve your game: 

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