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Saturday
February 22nd, 2020
Healthy Lifestyles

healthygamingGaming continues to grow in popularity, and with new ways to engage in social or individual game play available thanks to various technological devices, the frequency with which gamers engage in these recreational pursuits only increases. In fact, a 2018 report by Limelight Networks found that gamers spend an average of 5.96 hours each week playing games. 

Excessive gaming can pose a threat to gamers’ overall health. The following physical and mental wellness tips can help gamers ensure they get to play without sacrificing their health.

  • • Remember to blink. Staring at screens for long periods of time can cause serious eye strain. Sometimes, when immersed in the intensity of game play, a gamer may forget to blink his or her eyes, and this can lead to tired, dry eyes. As with other screen usage, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Per the Canadian Association of Optometrists, every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
  • • Take frequent breaks. Gamers should get up out of their seats and take breaks at regular intervals. This gives their eyes and ears a rest and allows them to stretch and reset their posture. Sitting for long periods of time can affect circulation and have adverse effects on the neck and spine as well. 
  • • Get some fresh air. Individuals should use break opportunities to go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine, if possible. The light and the clean air can improve energy levels and possibly help restore focus when it comes time to return to the game. Spending too many consecutive hours in a dark room can impact the brain and may affect how people learn, according to research led by Michigan State neuroscientists. Dim lights can make it hard to retain memories, while bright light boosts information retention and mood.
  • • Stretch hands and wrists. Maintaining overall good posture and stretching hands and wrists can offset complications of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that can affect mobility in the wrists and lead to inflammation and pain. 
  • • Recognize addiction. People can get addicted to gaming just as they would to any other activity or substance. Novelty addiction is prolonged time spent on video games, the internet or smartphones. Research indicates these novelties can trigger various psychological responses in the brain, and people grow accustomed to chasing those triggers. Incorporate other activities into one’s day so that gaming is not the end-all.

People can enjoy gaming in a safe and healthy way by incorporating various wellness strategies into their gaming routines. 

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sanitizemobilephoneThe most germ-addled item in your home may not be the toilet or the kitchen sponge. Mobile phones pick up bacteria wherever they go. In addition, users touch their phones an average of 47 times a day according to the national average determined by a Deloitte research survey, introducing new contaminants to the device each time they do so. 

Researchers at the University of Arizona found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than many toilet seats, and there may be as many as 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the average high-schooler’s phone.

While cell phone safety often focuses on protecting data, smartphone users also should consider keeping their phones clean to remove the potentially harmful microbes that accumulate on phones every day.

Avoid excess moisture when cleaning cell phones, advises the home and lifestyle experts at The Spruce as moisture can damage internal components. Most cell phone screens have an oleophobic coating that repels oils from hands and fingers. Harsh cleansers or abrasive materials on the glass can prematurely remove this coating and/or scratch the surface. 

While you clean at your own risk, many tech experts suggest a spray mixture of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol applied to a microfiber cloth to remove surface contaminants. Don’t directly wet the phone. There also are pre-packaged cleansers sold for electronics usage. Invest in an antimicrobial cover to provide an added layer of protection for the phone. 

Other ways to keep a phone clean are to wash your hands before use and to try to keep the phone away from areas that may be vulnerable to germs, such as bathrooms. 

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canfoodThe affordability of canned foods  entices many people to stock up on the essentials. However, there are some people who still harbor concerns about the safety of canned foods. Getting to the truth about canned foods can assuage some of those concerns and help those on the fence stock up on these budget-friendly staples.

Myth #1: Canned foods are not as healthy as fresh foods.

Fresh foods, once harvested, have a finite shelf life. Plus, once fruit or vegetables are picked, their vitamin and mineral content decreases each day that they are not consumed. Many canned foods are picked and processed on the same day, helping to retain nutrients at their peak and lock them in for many months. Also, according to the Hy-Vee supermarket chain, sometimes canned foods are packed with additional nutrients, such as increased lycopene in canned tomatoes.

Myth #2: Canned foods are full of preservatives.

The perception that canned foods are “processed” foods often leads people to believe they’re full of unsavory ingredients. The term processing is used to describe any food that has been changed from its natural form. So removing corn from a cob counts as processing, as is baking or boiling potatoes. Canned foods are preserved by heating the items and sealing them under pressure. No other preservatives are needed to keep them fresh.

Myth #3: Can linings are dangerous.

There has been controversy concerning BPA-containing plastics for many years. Even though the Food and Drug Administration, as well as other international food safety agencies, has evaluated the extensive body of science and continue to affirm BPA’s safety in food packaging, some manufacturers are voluntarily moving away from it. Consumers can find many foods packed in cans with non-BPA linings. However, even foods packaged in BPA are considered safe for consumption.

Myth #4: Canned foods are full of sodium.

Some canned foods will contain salt as an added ingredient to improve taste and act as a freshness preservative. But canned foods do not rank among the biggest offenders in regard to excessive amounts of sodium. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that identified the top 10 food categories that contribute to high sodium diets. Pizza, cured meats, cold cuts, and rolls made the list, while canned foods did not.

Myth #5: Canned foods do not taste good.

Because foods are canned when they are at peak freshness and ripeness after harvest, they retain full flavor if properly stored.

Myth #6: All dented cans are unsafe.

Cans can become dented in transit. Drop a can and it will dent. But that doesn’t necessarily mean foods inside dented cans are unsafe to eat. If a can is bulging or if the top or bottom of the can moves or makes a popping sound, the seal has probably been broken or compromised by bacteria and should be thrown out.

Canned foods are safe and can make for valuable additions to any pantry.

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