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Man playing video games late at night

Exercise for screen lovers

If you’re a gamer, here’s some good news: an active, healthy lifestyle can actually improve how well you play. Many pro players seem to agree that being active has improved their play by enhancing reaction time and focus.

The impact isn’t just on game play though. A sedentary lifestyle has the potential to lead to obesity and a bunch of other health issues, such as blood clots, diabetes, anxiety and depression or even lower sperm count. But getting active can help combat all of that.

Any activity is a good activity

The first thing to know is that any movement is good. It may not seem like much, but getting up to move around for even five minutes every hour during a play session can have significant health benefits. So work that into your gaming. Set a 30 minute timer and get up and move around for a couple of minutes when it goes off. If you’re grinding ranks in your favourite esport, get up, walk around, and stretch while you’re in queue. It may not be much, but it’s a start. 

Try games designed for exercise

There are dozens of activity-focused games out there which take advantage of motion control technology. These usually fall into the mould of dancing or fitness games, and they’re perfect to turn your favourite stationary hobby into exercise.

Virtual reality and augmented reality are also good options. Generally, VR will get you more active, but AR still gives you a reason to get up and get moving.

Couch work out

If you’re looking for something more resistance based, you can still get a great workout from the comfort of your own lounge. Keep in mind though, if you have an injury or condition that may affect your performance of these couch exercises, see a health professional for advice.

Seated scissors: Sitting upright on the edge of the couch with your feet flat on the ground, place your hands beside you so you don’t slide off. Extend each leg out straight in front of you in the air, one at a time and hold.

Couch dips: Perch yourself on the edge of your couch, then with your legs straight out in front of you, use your arms to lift your butt off the couch and lower it. Then bring yourself back up and repeat.

Glute bridge: Lie on the floor with your heels up on the edge of your couch, then thrust upwards and hold. This one is great for sculpting your butt.

Couch push-ups: To round out your routine, do some push-ups against the edge of your couch.

Stretches for gamers

Finally, to stay active you need to look after your body. And as gamers are particularly prone to repetitive strain injury, that means stretches.

Wrist: Stretch your arms out in front, stick your hand out like you are about to high five someone and pull the fingers back towards you with the opposite hand, repeating on both sides.

Triceps: Raise an arm up in the air and drop your hand down behind your head, leaving your elbow pointing into the sky. Use your other hand to gently push your arm lower down your back, repeating on both sides.

Spinal twist: While sitting, slowly twist your body around, keeping your back tall. Make sure you rotate your entire upper body, keeping the head aligned with your shoulders. Repeat on both sides.

Front and side of neck: While sitting up tall, put your hands on your knees and slowly tilt your head to the side, keeping your shoulders down. Repeat to both sides.