When you think about video games, what are some of the associations that come to mind? One of the more common associations is that it's an unhealthy habit. An all-too-typical day of gaming looks something like this: Having marathon sessions with your friends crammed into a dark rooms with eyes affixed on the target, and taking only minute breaks for the bathroom and more hot pockets (because there's no time for hygiene or eating when it comes to zombies). Video games can be a great form of mental exercise, but not so much on the physical end. Sitting in all sorts of random awkward positions on the couch for long periods of time can take a toll on your body in a more serious way than you'd think. Luckily, this issue is relatively easy to prevent and only takes 5 minutes out of your gaming spree.
DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis, is a blood clot that forms in your deep veins, and can be potentially fatal. Whether you're sitting cross-legged, in a chair, or on a couch, being in those positions for long periods of time affect your circulation negatively. As a result, blood tends to pool in your legs which can cause clotting. Now here's where the real danger comes: As soon as you get up for your bathroom break, your legs are straightened out and the blood flow begins to improve. If the clot becomes detached and travels to your heart or lungs, it could be bad news. So how do you prevent this from happening? Get up.
By simply taking a break every hour and walking around for just five minutes, you are taking all the necessary measures to prevent DVT. Your calf muscle is the main pump that promotes circulation throughout your lower leg, so walking around the block, up and down stairs, or even stretching all contribute to preventing clots. The most important thing to note is that you need to do it consistently and regularly. Don't think that walking around for 30 minutes will allow you to game for 6 hours straight. If your legs begin to ache or your foot is falling asleep, chances are it’s time for a break.
The most dangerous thing about DVT is that the earlier symptoms cannot be detected easily, so in this case it's always better to be safe than sorry. There are many simple leg exercises that you could probably do without putting down the controller. The five minutes of time you take will save you a great deal of time (and pain) in the future. Game on!