What can I do to avoid back pain while playing?
A quick 10 minute game turned into a several hour grind marathon? We know it. During such a session, you can forget yourself and not break away from the computer or console for a long time
While food and fluids can be easily replenished later, our spine may be less forgiving.
First of all – the right position!
Do you remember the posters hanging in the computer room from your elementary school days? They showed the correct posture while sitting at the computer. Back then it seemed “boring and stupid”, but now you can’t help but feel guilty every time your back hurts.
If you play sitting down, make sure you have a chair that is suitable for your height and weight. The chair should have armrests and be high enough for your feet to touch the floor. The seat must not put pressure on your thighs; your knees should be minimally higher than your hips. The back of the chair must have a slight bulge at the lumbar level, and in the place of the thoracic vertebrae should be slightly concave
If you do not have such a chair and sit on a regular chair, try to put a pillow or rolled towel under your back. It is also recommended that you sit in a slightly unstable chair – this forces the body to constantly balance and stimulates the muscles of the spine to work. Therefore, it is advisable to put covers for active sitting (various types of “hedgehogs” or “berets”) on the chair or replace it with a gym ball.
Do not forget about the correct positioning of the monitor. It should be at about eye level or slightly below.
Maintain correct posture
A well-shaped workstation is not everything. You also need to sit at it correctly.
Dr. Bolesław Paluch is the best illustration of proper posture:
“What happens when we see a handsome man or woman? Everyone reacts in a similar way: they instinctively lift their chin, pull their belly in, pull their shoulder blades back and push their breasts forward. And that’s what the correct silhouette looks like.”
Move, at least once in a while
At 70kg, the pressure on the spine when sitting is about 140kg. Sitting for hours on end is a health risk because your muscles stop working. Movement is necessary, for example, to optimize blood flow and hormone secretion
Importantly, it is not sitting as such that has a detrimental effect on muscle activity and health. It is the lack of activity of the brain, which “falls asleep” when we sit for long periods of time. When we play, the only movements we make are hitting our fingers on the keyboard and moving our hand while moving the mouse. Possibly working our wrists if we are playing on a pad. The rest of the body then “disappears” from the brain and stops working.
We know that sometimes it can be difficult to break away from the game, especially when we immerse ourselves in the game world, but try to take a 5-10 minute break, about every 45 minutes, for example when you reach a checkpoint. Stand up, stretch, and walk around the room.
Specific exercises to strengthen the spine
It’s a good idea to implement exercises into your life that will strengthen the muscles of your trunk, namely your chest, abdomen, back and pelvis. This will help alleviate lower back pain and improve stability and balance. One of the best workouts for the spine is swimming – just being in the water has a beneficial effect on the back.
Main photo: Florian Olivo/unsplash.com