Exercising your hands to play video games probably isn’t something that most gamers probably think all that much about. Have a look at some of the tips from Dr. Levi Harrison though and you’ll be on the way to better gaming in no time flat.
Gaming and injuries –two words don’t go together. However, Dr. Levi Harrison, (The Gamer’s Doctor) an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand and wrist issues, is seeing more and more gamers come to him with serious repetitive stress issues, such as: carpal tunnel, wrist tendonitis, and other hand/wrist injuries.
Great news though, by following a few simple rules gamers can improve and maintain their hand, wrist and elbow health!
Dr. Levi Harrison 7 Tips for Gamer’s Health:
- Take a five minute break every 60 minutes to simply flex and extend your fingers. You can do this by making a full fist and then opening all your fingers widely for several repetitions (20 repetitions every 60 minutes). Setting a reminder on your phone is a great way to keep track. Demonstration video HERE.
- Before gaming, immerse your hands and wrists in warm water for 3-5 minutes. The heat will be soothing to the joints. Also, heat reduces viscosity of the joint fluid, which may increase the flexibility of the wrist and agility of the fingers, hence your actions per minute.
- Do gliding exercises on the wrist during a 60 second break. These exercises are designed to help stave off carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms which include hand numbness, tingling, pain, or decreased grip strength. Demonstration video HERE.
- Do Nirschl exercises to help stretch out the extensor muscles of the elbow and wrist. This can help prevent “Tennis Elbow,” something not exclusive to tennis players a real risk for active games. Demonstration video HERE.
- Do blocking exercises when taking a break. These exercises greatly assist in the movement of the joints in your fingers and thumbs. Demonstration video HERE.
- Massage your fingers, wrist and elbows regularly during the day, even when you are not gaming.This is especially important for the thumb, which is responsible for over 42% of all functional motion of your hand during gaming.
- Shake out your hands, wrist and elbows during your break and throughout the day. This can be done during one of the 60 second breaks.
As a gamer, it’s important to do these exercises not only for injury prevention, but also increase your actions per minute, your speed, your efficiency, your winning time, and to unsure you have a long, successful gaming career.