Has this ever happened to you? You’ve got a new, shiny game. Freshly downloaded, glistening like the dawn after a rainstorm and begging to be played. So you boot that baby up. The sheer, wild excitement of character creation. The slightly less wild excitement of a tutorial. Feels so good right? You play for hours and hours. Then BAM. You got something new and painful happening in your body. I’ve written about “gamer’s neck” before. But there’s myriad other physical issues that come from being a hard core, binge player. And it seems like each new game brings with it a fresh set of micro ailments and aches. Consider this a PSA.

I’m here to promote some gamer health awareness, if you want to go even deeper, read up about gamer eye health. Each console and platform has its own particular set of weird hurts players feel after starting a new game. For Switch players, it’s all too common to have your little handies go totally numb in the middle of a Civ game. Xbox folks all can probably relate to headaches due to jaw clenching because they’re getting trashed by a child in COD. And as a PC gamer myself, I’m intimately familiar with the aching wrists and agonizing back pain that comes from a marathon session of Total War: Warhammer 3. For all of these ailments, there’s really one simple fix.

Doctor Mario

Nintendo

Do not trust this man. He's wearing evening gloves not medical gloves for chrissake.

Would a doctor recommend sitting for 14 hours straight, huddled over a PlayStation 5 controller? Probably not. Maybe Doctor Mario, but his medical degrees are questionable. I don’t think any modern doctor who wears one of those old tyme head mirrors should be trusted. I’m simply not going to quit my all day gaming sessions. But I can work on my alignment. Basically, posture is a big deal, as I’m sure you know from annoying Instagram ads for products that definitely don’t work. There’s a simple method to having good posture when you game however: don’t focus on trying to make your back straight, focus on feeling your bone structure supporting itself. Feet flat on the floor, feel your spine perfectly balanced on top of your hips, growing up out of the pelvic bone, then imagine your skull is totally free to float away and gently balanced on the top of your spine. See there, don’t you feel better already? If that doesn’t work, you can always try prayer. Now get back in there and beat Malenia.

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