How To Stop Gaming From Affecting Your Health

Being an avid gamer has a tonne of advantages, that’s why it’s so popular all across the world. But all that screen time can have its effects on your health too. We look at the most common issues among gamers and what to do to prevent them so you can keep on playing. 


Looking at a screen, trying to follow the action, for hours on end, can cause eyestrain. If you find that your eyes are sore, itchy or burning or your vision is blurry, then you could have eyestrain. 

What to do about it

Visit the optician and get an eye test. They’ll be able to tell you if there’s any damage to your eyes and if you need glasses or contacts. If you need glasses you can order online and have your choice of a wider range of styles. 

If you get the all-clear from the optician, then it’s about taking care of your eyes. Take regular breaks from your screen and use eye drops. 

If your screen is an older model, it could be causing your eyes to hurt. Try upgrading to a newer, hi-def model with a high refresh rate. 


If you find yourself getting headaches more often than usual, then it could be gaming that’s causing it. Staring at a screen, concentrating deeply, with poor hydration can all cause headaches. 

What to do about it

Make sure that you take regular breaks from the screen and do some neck exercises. Don’t sit too close to it and have sufficient lighting in the room. 

Muscle aches

How to you sit when you’re gaming? Gaming for long periods in a poor posture can cause backache, neckache and muscle spasms. If left untreated, this can cause serious issues that need physiotherapy and compromise your posture permanently. 

What to do about it

Try and keep a good posture when you’re gaming. This can be difficult. After all, it’s downtime, who wants to be sitting bolt upright? Invest in a well-designed gaming chair and keep up your physical activity levels, including stretching. 

If you’re finding yourself experiencing a lot of pain, your GP may refer yours for physiotherapy. 

Joint Pain/Carpal Tunnel 

Gaming needs you to constantly use repetitive motions with your hands. Over a period of time, you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the median nerve is compressed or irritated. If you notice numbness, a dull ache or pins and needles in your thumb or index finger, then you may have it. 

What to do about it

Using an icepack on your hand and wrist after gaming could help to reduce the inflammation in the nerve. There are a number of stretching exercises you do regularly to try and keep the joints and ligaments is good condition. 

If you find that the numbness if getting worse and is affecting your dexterity in other areas of your life, you will need to visit your GP. In extreme cases, surgery is needed to correct the problem with the nerve. 


If you’re finding it difficult to switch off your mind at the end of the day, this could start affecting the quality of your sleep. Insomnia can cause a whole host of mood disorders and health issues. It can also affect your schoolwork or performance at your job. 

What to do about it

If you’re gaming right before bed (or even when you should be sleeping) you might want to set yourself a cut-off point for switching off. A nighttime routine without electronics is the best way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. If this doesn’t work you might want to take a break for a few days to let your brain calm down and reset. 

What if it’s more serious?

The health issues listed above are some of the annoying, but less serious effects of gaming. However, there have been a number of more serious physical and mental conditions links to excessive gaming. If you think that you may be developing a bigger issue, then please get help, either from your doctor or by contacting one of the specialist organisations who can help you. Remember, you’re not alone. 


Gaming requires concentration and great fine motor skills. It’s really easy to get caught up in everything and forget to look after yourself. The sooner you get out of bad habits, the better. Getting on top of things before they become a serious issue is the key to long term gaming success.