Monday, May 30, 2016

The Sedentary Life of a Gamer

Yes, it’s true we gamers sit for long periods of time while we save the princess or stop a world ending catastrophe. But what does that hurt? No one has ever been hurt from just sitting, right? Wrong. In fact having a sedentary lifestyle can have life altering complications.

I'm going to tell you a story about a man that developed a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The Mayo clinic describes this condition as, “when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. DVT can cause leg pain, redness, or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.2 DVT can come from other medical conditions but what we are worried about is DVT caused by sitting for too long. This can cause death. If one or more of these clots become unlodged in the legs and finds its way to your lungs, you could easily die of a pulmonary embolism (This happens when the clot obstructs the blood flow in your lungs). In a published case study in the Journal of Medicine is where we find our story about a man who developed DVT from spending a little too much time on the game. Now the man, who  remains unnamed due to the anonymity of case studies in journals, was a painter by trade but played games for enjoyment. He decided it would be a good idea to lay in his bed while playing. He did this for 8 hours a day for 4 days straight. This man developed DVT in his legs. Luckily for him, he received medical treatment and the issue was resolved.1

I don’t know about you but I have personally had longer gaming sessions for many days on end. It’s just the life of a gamer sometimes. So, you want to know the secret of not developing DVT? Well, it's simple. Move! Since DVT is caused by inactivity and the blood flow being restricted in the legs, doing some exercises and moving around is one of the best ways to prevent it. I normally stream for at least 6 hours a day, 3 days a week. That's a lot of sitting time, an ample amount to cause issues. I make sure I get up at least 3 to 4 times to stretch out and walk around. If you do have some other genetic issues or medical conditions that could lead to this, eating a high fiber, low fat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables also helps to combat DVT.

Streaming games has become a very enjoyable part of my life, but I know the risks that come with sitting or lying for such a long period of time and how it could impact my quality of life. I’m not telling you to stop playing for so long. I know I’m not going to stop. I’m just asking that you don’t let the thing you love kill you. Break up the gaming sessions with some moving around. Maybe alter your diet some. Don’t be a statistic in some medical journal. Until next time gamers, game safe!


1Mohney, G. (2013, December 12). Video Game Leads to Life-Threatening Condition for Gamer. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from

2Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from

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