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Could Playing Your Xbox A Little Too Often Actually Kill You?

Submitted by on August 1, 2011 – 8:47 am9 Comments

By now, you know the side effects of spending too much time glued to your TV with a video game controller in your hands. Obesity? Check! Extreme feelings of withdrawal, anger, or depression when you’re not able to play? Yep! Carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, sleep disturbances, headaches, and even—ughk!—a lack of personal hygiene? You bet!

But, how about…death? Could death be a side effect of video game addiction? As it turns out, yes. Playing your Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii too often can kill you. And a recent case involving a 20-year-old computer programmer proves it.

Chris Staniforth, a video game designer at the UK’s Leicester University, died earlier this year as a result of what was later found to be a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot—after he reportedly spent hours engaged in a marathon gaming session on his Xbox. Pulmonary embolisms occur when a person sits in the same position for several hours at a time, which is why doctors have already concluded that it was Staniforth’s video game addiction that actually killed him.

Typically, pulmonary embolisms affect people who are on extra long flights or those who are required to assume the same position for long stretches of time. However, the medical community is finding that they are starting to affect kids, teenagers, and young adults who engage in computer and video games for long periods of time without taking regular breaks to stretch their legs. It’s one of the reasons Staniforth’s father David has already started a campaign against the dangers of video games.

“Kids all over the country are playing these games for long periods,” he told UK newspaper The Sun. “They don’t realize it could kill them.”

So, what’s the solution here? Well, we don’t think we really have to tell you, but it’s pretty simple: Stop playing so many video games! Or, at the very least, make sure you’re getting enough breaks when you do. In Staniforth’s case, he played games like Halo for up to 12 hours at a time without stopping to eat or stretch his legs. In places like Asia, they’ve found that many kids have collapsed and required medical attention after playing video games for upwards of 15 hours. And, just like Staniforth, another gamer died back in 2005 after incredibly playing video games for three days straight without taking a break.

So, if you’re a gamer, do yourself a favor and start taking breaks a little more frequently. And if you’re a parent with a child who likes playing video games, make sure they’re not glued to them for more than a couple of hours at a time. Even a 10 to 15-minute break for lunch or a quick stroll outside could literally be the difference between life and death. Because while there are plenty of side effects of video game addiction that are plenty painful, the worst of all is also the one that not many people know about.

You can put your life in jeopardy as a result of video game addiction and you can die if you’re not careful. So put down your controller for a minute, stretch out your legs, and take a couple of deep breaths the next time you’re playing. Or, better yet, shut the game off for a couple of hours and take some time to go do something else entirely. It might not be what you want to do, but it’s definitely what your body wants you to do. So do not play games when it comes to your Xbox addiction. It could be the biggest win you’ve ever gotten.

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  • AcheBreak says:

    Thank you for bringing more awareness to this serious issue. People need to take breaks as a preventive health measure. Parents need to teach kids good computing, gaming and texting habits.
    A sort of ironic option to help with this problem…is the mobile app called “AcheBreak” It is a break and exercise reminder used to prevent repetitive stress injuries, texting tendonitis, and carpal tunnel. It is customizable and in versions for kids, youth, teen and adults. Hopefully, being reminded to take breaks will develop into healthy habits and injuries like this will be prevented.
    Visit, http://www.AcheBreak.com, http://www.AcheBreakApp.com, follow on FaceBook and Twitter or Info@AcheBreak.com

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  • Bridget says:

    If this were true then there would be a lot more publicity on it and I don’t see any doctors quoted here. Everyone that has an office/cubicle job shows symptoms of carpel tunnel, back problems, and so on are at risk. All three consoles noted above have implemented themselves so players are more interactive and thus they move more.

    I agree that parents should take more interest in what their kids are doing and actually make time for activities together. Most parents don’t know how to use the parental settings on these consoles much less what their kids are playing.

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