Video games and Xbox specifically, can be a great outlet to relieve stress, calm your mind and escape the harsh realities of the modern world. Xbox can help with your hand eye coordination, teamwork and problem solving abilities all while having fun. If you follow Xbox news you will see that there are so many different types of games for any playstyle.
While playing video games casually is generally not a bad idea, let’s look and see how playing too much Xbox could be bad for your health.
1. Bad Posture and Back Problems
If you are sitting on a couch all day playing your Xbox, it is not doing your back any favors. Often gamers will complain of back problems, tightness and general pain that gets worse with time and age. If you are an avid Xbox player, make sure that you take some breaks to go for a walk, do yoga, or any physical activity that will improve your health. Another thing you should consider buying is a high performance, ergonomic gaming chair that will help with your posture while you are playing Xbox.
2. Not good for Eye health
In 2021, it’s pretty obvious that everyone is glued to their screens all day. It’s just impossible to avoid at this point and our eyes shift from one screen to another. Playing Xbox can make it even worse, as generally your eyes are hyper focused on the game you are playing and you are likely playing on a large screen, emitting a lot of harmful light. This can be especially problematic when you are trying to wind down for the night and your brain is expecting there to be darkness. Some tips to reduce the eye strain from video games include.
- The 20-20-20 rule: Stop using your electronic screen device every 20 minutes and look at something more than 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can help your eyes adjust.
- Use ample lighting and reduce the glare
- Don’t play for more then 3 hours
- Get glasses with anti-reflective coating
3. Diminished Social Life
When you play too many video games and you start to cross over into addiction territory, you easily can lose relationships and have a very isolating life. According to an article by harvard on the effects of too much gaming, some of the effects include:
- gaming preoccupation
- loss of interest in other activities
- downplaying use
- loss of relationship, educational, or career opportunities
- gaming to escape or relieve anxiety, guilt, or other negative mood states
- failure to control
- continued gaming despite psychosocial problems.
4. Carpal Tunnel
According to WebMd Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand.
This can happen pretty easily for Xbox players since their are holding the controller in one position for hours at a time and don’t realize the damage they may be causing to their hands and wrists.
To prevent CTS:
- Make sure you take breaks and always do a stretching routine before and after playing Xbox
- Make sure your hands and room temperature are warm and not freezing cold
- Seek treatment from a medical professional if you are experiencing pain or concern about your gaming routine
5. Poor Sleep
Poor sleep is likely the #1 health issue Xbox players may suffer and not realize just how much damage their are doing to their bodies, minds and overall productivity.
Playing too much Xbox before bed, can trigger chemicals in your brain that keep you from achieving deep REM sleep, and keep you in a lighter phase of sleep overall. Some tips to have a better sleep experience while still playing video games include:
- Stop playing video games several hours before you go to sleep
- Limit the amount of time you play video games
- Don’t play with the volume too loud
- Keep the light levels dimmed, you don’t need too much light before bed
- Avoid consuming caffiene, sugar or too much food before bed
- Try not to play extreme or violent games before bed, try something relaxing
Overall, playing Xbox in general is not an unhealthy habit, but if you allow it to control your life it can quickly become unhealthy just like any other addiction. So get out there, follow the latest gaming news, have some fun and keep your body and mind healthy!