Self-care is an incredibly important part of gaming. If it’s something you ignore, problems can occur later in life that could have been managed with a little bit of time. Here, we’ve detailed some videos and guides you can follow to help prevent future ailments and injury.
A player’s hands and wrists are one of the most important assets for any streamer and pro player. Without proper function, difficulties arise outside of modern gaming’s accessibility options.
It’s very easy to spend hours on the PC every day and not think of the consequences, but too much repetition can be harmful.
A doctor named Dr Levi Harrsion started a YouTube channel to educate people about staying healthy. In one video, he shared a few tips centered on keeping your hands and wrists healthy while gaming.
He notes that tips like this can greatly increase your efficiency, boosting your current APM, while also extending how long your professional career can go.
An apple a day keeps the doctor at bay
Before even getting into stretches, it’s important to take 5-minute breaks, every hour, to give your hands some time to rest. Even though your hands may not feel tired, the repetitive acts of gaming can cause long-term harm. Gently running your hands under warm water while moving your fingers up and down can also aid to loosen up the joints in your hands.
A good series of movements to stretch your hands can do wonders. Dr Levi suggests to follow this routine:
- Make a full fist
- Open your hand wide
- Bend your fingers 90 degrees to create what’s known as the tabletop
- Pull your fingers back against your palm to create a clawed fist (basically how a palm strike looks in martial arts)
- Make a half fist
- Make a full fist
Finger stretches are equally as important as hand stretches as they are used just as much when playing.
Hand stretches are important for anyone that plays games. Push each of your fingers back individually with your other hand to stretch them out. However, the thumb is one of the most important fingers to focus on, so there are a few more stretches you can do for it.
Push your thumb back and forward, then reach across your palm and touch each of your fingers with it. Afterward, make a full fist, then open it and spread your fingers out, before putting them back together and closing your fist again.
There are also a few general stretches that you can do to help out your hands and wrists.
These include shaking your hands around, putting your arm out, and then lifting your wrist. Following this, stretch all of your fingers back, and pull your wrist down to hold it.
Stretching can be very important as repetitive strain injuries can hinder gameplay. Some of the best professional players like Starcraft’s Lee “Flash” Young Ho and CS:GO’s Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer Gustafsson suffered from wrist problems, with even them had being kept from competing due to their wrist injuries.
So, there you have it. Make sure to take time away from gaming to look after yourself with exercises mentioned here. There are also plenty of videos and guides that you’re able to find online. Repetitive Strain Injury is no joke, and your future self will thank you for it.