Playing Computer Games – Is It Harmful for You?
Everyone loves to play computer games and this is the best way to give you a company when you are alone at home. These games can engage you for a long time and these are capable of drifting you away from the real world. To get into the virtual world of computer games, you need to sit in front of computer for long times. Nowadays, people’s interest in computer games have increased to a large extent and in all age groups which is a serious matter of concern as this can affect a person’s health. To know whether playing computer games are harmful for health or not, let us discuss in this article; read on for more information.
Several Problems Associated with Playing Computer Games
When computer became a necessity in every household, playing games on computer was not considered to be a harmful activity, but it is quite similar to watching TV and it even does not involve any kinds of physical activity. So, the sedentary nature of this activity is generally believed to be associated with various health problems. These problems are discussed below:
- Obesity – Long hours playing computer games can obviously cause obesity in person of any age. Also, no one can resist the addictive nature of this activity and tendency to sit for long hours before computer. Thus, playing computer games lack physical activity which is responsible for causing obesity.
- Overuse injuries – repeated and prolonged using and pressing the buttons of game controllers can lead to RSI (repetitive stress injury) or overuse injury in the hand of the player. RSI can result in inflammation (swelling and pain), tissue damage or muscle strain. There is an increased risk of thumb injury as the tendency to use thumb is more frequent while playing these games.
- Joints and muscles problems – There are various problems of joints and muscles which are observed in people who work or play on computers for prolonged time. These problems can be back pain, postural abnormalities, neck pain and other problems of spine.
- Visual fatigue – Due to prolonged and continuous focus on the screen, eyes can get strained and it can cause visual fatigue. Its symptoms can range from watery eyes, blurred vision and headache.
- Photosensitive epileptic seizures – PSE (Photosensitive epileptic seizures) has been observed in a few computer game players who experience seizures in response to flashing and flickering lights. Though, it is rare form of epilepsy and a very few game players may be sensitive to a few games that show rapidly flashing graphics. This potential risk can be lessened by maintaining a safe distance from the screen which should be minimum 2 meters and also by using a high resolution screen if possible.
Any Physiological Effect
- The effect of playing computer games for prolonged hours are not limited only to physical levels, there are various physiological effects also which may include behavioral abnormalities.
- Some games which are violent have been found to cause short term aggressive behavior.
- Moreover, these computer games are highly addictive in nature and possess the capability to engage you for long hours.
- The academics of a child are likely to get affected if he/she sits in front of computer for long hours and ignoring studies.
Ways to Reduce the Harmful Effects of Playing Computer Games
The following are a few ways to reduce harmful effects of playing computer games:
- You must set the time limit to play games. 1 to 2 hours are enough to play.
- Do some relaxing exercises for neck, hands and back.
- To prevent eye strains, take frequent ‘gaze’ breaks by looking at distant objects to change the focal point of the eye.
- Also, eat healthy food and avoid fried foods, junk foods and soft drinks.
- Use ergonomically designed chairs to maintain a proper posture while sitting.
- Set the screen at a proper distance and height to avoid visual strain and also set the brightness and contrast of the screen.
- To protect your eyes, you can use anti-glare glasses on the screen.
The above are a few effects of playing computer games and some of the effective ways to reduce their harmful effects. Playing games is not a bad idea if you know when to stop and how much to play.