With Wii's finding their way under many a tree this Christmas, and probably a fair few less-than-fit people attempting to play them, the British Chiropractic Association has leapt to the rescue with their guide to avoiding a nasty injury from over exertion with the new Wiimote.
"Wii mania" first took hold in the States last month and ever since, Wii-related injuries are becoming a more and more regular occurrence.
Whilst the Association is pleased that the Wii breaks the mould when it comes to video games being linked to sedentary lifestyle, they have issued some guidelines, suggesting that a Wii session should be treated like any other exercise - going to the gym for example. Their top tips:
1) Shoulder Shrug: Slowly shrug your shoulders towards your ears. Hold for 2/3 seconds, and then relax. Repeat 3 times. Because it is easier to relax a muscle after you've tightened it, you will relax the muscles in the shoulder and allow the blood to flow into the arms.
2) Wrist Stretch: Slowly stretch the wrist backwards, hold for 2/3 seconds, then Slowly stretch is forwards and hold for 2/3 seconds. Repeat 3 times. This exercise prevents tightening of the wrists.
3) Make a Fist: Hold the arm at right angles from the elbow. Make a fist and tense it, and the whole of your arm. Hold for 2/3 seconds, then relax and let the arm flop to your side. Repeat 3 times. This will help the blood flow and tone the muscles.
4) Neck muscle stretch: Try to make a double chin, to stretch the muscles at the base of the neck. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds and repeat 3 times. Always stretch very slowly.
5) Lower back loosen: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly circle your hips 5 revolutions to the right and then 5 revolutions to your left.
Tim Hutchful from the BCA said, "We want people to enjoy these games, but enjoy them safely. Gamers should treat a Wii session like any form of exercise and warm-up adequately beforehand to prevent stiffness and possible injuries. It is also important to take frequent breaks during a Wii session, at least once every 45 minutes for most people, but 20-30 minutes for those who do not exercise regularly. Don't forget - pain is a warning sign, so if you feel any pain no matter how slight, stop!"
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