No one saw 2020 coming, not even the biggest introverts in the world. Who would have thought modern civilization would ever reach a point where physical isolation is the norm and people would have to live, work, exercise, and play from the comforts of their home? (The world’s top epidemiologists did, but that’s a discussion for another day.)
Now more than ever, we need to keep our bodies, our minds, and our spirits healthy. To do this, we need to have a healthy combination of proper diet, exercise, and self-care activities that enrich our souls. One self-care activity that often gets lost in the conversation is gaming.
For many years, there has been a lot of talk about the negative effects of gaming, but never its positive effects, which is unfair, because playing video games is a sport. It can improve one’s hand-eye reflexes, and other cognitive skills such as reasoning, memory, spatial navigation, and perception. It’s also a great way for people to distance themselves physically without distancing socially from their loved ones during this pandemic.
All that said, here are some tips for creating the gaming station of your dreams—because everyone deserves a healthy, safe space during these difficult times.
If possible, keep your gaming station and work station separate.
Experts say that it’s not a good idea to work from your bed because our minds tend to associate spaces and locations with specific activities. Working from our bed can threaten the way we see it—instead of it being a place for rest and intimacy, it becomes a place for work and productivity. The same principle applies to work and leisure.
If it’s possible, set up your gaming station away from your work station. It will also boost your productivity if you impose upon yourself a reward system; that is, you can only play once you’ve finished all the work you need to do, and studies show rewarding ourselves as a way to boost productivity works.
Ergonomics is the art and science of arranging things you use so that you’re able to use them in a way that’s safe, healthy, and efficient for you. It’s usually talked about in the context of work productivity, but if you are spending much of your time gaming, then your gaming station must be ergonomic as well.
Here are some factors to consider when setting up your gaming station:
- Posture. Make sure that the way you’re seating is good for your body. To do this, you need to find your “neutral posture”—feet planted on the floor, lower back extending a tiny bit, pelvis not titled, chest elevated, and head over your shoulders.
- Keyboard and mouse. Experts say that wrist rests do not necessarily provide any significant ergonomic benefit. The solution is to invest in a desk that allows your keyboard location to keep your elbows and upper arms close to your body, with your arms not extending outward beyond 45 degrees. The keyboard and wrist position and angle should also allow your wrist to have a neutral posture so that it’s in a straight line with your forearms.
- Monitor height and distance. The best visual range is within 1-2 feet away from your eyes, with the center of the monitor about 15-30 degrees below your line of vision. The last thing you want is a gaming station that causes you to hunch down to look at the screen, or craning up to be able to see. It would be best if you didn’t strain to be able to see the monitor.
- Ergonomic chair. Find a chair with armrests that support your forearms and elbows, and at the same time lessens stress on your shoulders, neck, and upper back. It should also be at a height that meets your required monitor height and should have good lumbar support so that your back keeps its natural curve.
Develop your PC from scratch.
When you choose to build your PC instead of buying it, you’re able to hand-pick every single component that goes into the system, customize your PC to meet your performance requirements and budget, and personalize every single detail to your liking. It may be a daunting experience for first-timers but incredibly rewarding and self-esteem-building. So roll up your sleeves and get to work—and consider it your first mission before you even start gaming.
Don’t Neglect Other Self-Care Tools
While video gaming can be an incredibly fun activity not just for yourself but also with your loved ones, it should only be supplementary and not the only self-care tool in your arsenal. So don’t forget to eat healthily, get up and move every once in a while, and game responsibly.
Meta title: How to Build Your Dream Gaming Haven
meta description: 2020 is the year of self-care while in self-isolation. For people who love gaming, this is a dream-come-true. Here are some tips and tricks for creating the gaming haven of your dreams.