Understanding Your Body and how it Works
Return From Your Body To Take Time Out
The basic design of your body has changed little since the days when our ancestors were hunter gatherers constantly on the move, evolution cannot in the short space of time that gaming has emerged create a body which will evolve to be a survivor when under seated conditions for long periods of time. The human body by design was not intended to cope with these conditions. Humans unlike four legged animals are upright bipeds and the circulatory system powered by the heart struggles to maintain blood flow in the deep veins in the calf area of your legs when immobile.
An important way of maintaining blood flow from these areas where DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) or blood clots form is by being mobile and not being still in one place for any time, such conditions occur whilst gaming, long haul flights, or working long hours at a computer desk.
The calf muscles often referred to as the “Second Heart” assist the circulatory system when you are mobile, by flexing and milking the blood back up the deep veins towards the heart, one way valves prevent back flow. You can actually feel these muscles working if you place your hand at the back of your calf whilst flexing your foot up and down from the ankle, indeed this exercise is widely recommended when you are caught in a confined space such as when travelling, most airlines will advise such exercise during long haul flights. This technique can be used during gaming.
Risk of DVT increases dramatically when more than one preventable condition occurs, particularly referring to gaming which has parallels with long haul air travel.
The most common combination for gamers would be immobility for long periods combined with dehydration, drinking Coffee, alcohol, and in particular high energy caffeine drinks should be avoided. We are very aware that a gamer playing in a different time zone throughout the night might seek such stimulants, these should be avoided as caffeine produces a diuretic effect dehydrating your body, causing the blood to be more conducive to clotting in the deep veins.
Be fully aware that clots begin to form after approx 90 minutes, normal movement will break these up and they will become reabsorbed into the body. It is when these clots become enlarged and a portion breaks away to block either the heart, Lungs, or brain that it becomes a medical emergency. This is called a Pulmonary embolism or in the case of a blockage in the brain a stroke.
Early symptoms can be mistaken as cramp, the symptoms of DVT are described below, please be fully aware that 80% of DVT show no symptoms and in the case of pulmonary embolism death can occur within 30 minutes.
Pain in the calf or thigh area of your body.
Swelling or tenderness and visible redness in affected area.
Shortness of breath and a rapid heartbeat.
Possible joint pain.
Enlarged or protruding veins.
Leg pains whilst standing or walking.
Leg pains which ease whilst the legs are raised.
These are medical emergencies seek immediate advice from A&E - do not ignore these symptoms.
Gamers are strongly advised to take time out during games that exceed 90 minutes, ensure that you exercise and are mobile before continuing and hydrate by drinking water or soft drinks.
Please now go to our advice page to fully understand what can be done to enjoy gaming and avoid risks.
Please take precautions – prevention is better than the cure - Don’t risk your life.
Our message to you is – Love Life - Love Games!
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