Winter is here, and as the temperature drops, it's not just the landscape in our favorite games turning frosty. Our real-world environments require attention, too. It's time to discuss a critical yet often overlooked aspect in our gaming community — maintaining a healthy body temperature. Ensuring you're warm and cozy during those long gaming sessions is essential for your health and preserving peak (gaming) performance. A high body temp can hurt performance, but so can a low body temperature. So what is the best body temperature for gaming performance?
Layer Up Right
A study from the International Journal of Research and Environmental Health concluded that exposure to cold air can "impair some cognitive domains such as attention and speed of processing" (1) And if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that decreased cognitive abilities mean worse performance in gaming.
We know that a cold space is an excuse to get cozy, but for gamers, there's a fine line between feeling snug and feeling like you're in a straight jacket. Start with a base layer, something light and breathable that can wick away moisture because, let's face it, the tension in boss battles can work up a sweat! Top it off with your favorite hoodie (we know you have at least 3). The beauty of layering is that you can quickly shed a layer if you start feeling too warm. Layering allows you to adjust your clothing to your room's temperature and gaming intensity.
Hydrate and Eat Well
Staying hydrated significantly impacts your body's temperature regulation. Keep a water bottle within reach during gaming sessions. Or, if you don't like drinking cold water when the weather outside is freezing, sip warm drinks like tea or broth. It's easy to forget to drink when immersed in a game, but regular sips can help keep your body working efficiently. Likewise, eating regular, balanced meals keeps your metabolism active, which generates internal heat. Opt for meals high in protein, healthy fats, and fruit during winter.
Get Up and Move
Marathon gaming sessions can lead to a drop in our body temperature. Our bodies just aren't designed to stay stationary for extended periods. Taking regular breaks to stretch and move around not only gets your blood flowing and warms your body, but it also helps fend off the physical strain of gaming. Consider doing a few jumping jacks or push-ups between matches or during loading screens. It's a small change, but your body will thank you!
Warm Your Space
A rug can add insulation to a chilly floor, and heavy curtains keep the cold air from leaking through windows. Be careful with adding a space heater, as they can warm up your equipment a little too much. The heat from your console or PC might be tempting to use as a makeshift heater, but remember that excessive heat can cause damage and decrease the lifespan of your hardware. A study showed that expanding your central heating zone to your space can increase performance by approximately 4%. (2)
Remember, gamers, staying comfortable and warm during your winter gaming sessions can improve your gaming performance and help maintain your health. So, layer up, hydrate, move around, warm your space wisely, and remember to treat your gaming rig with care. Stay frosty in the game, not in reality. Let's go!
- Arora, T., Grey, I., Östlundh, L., Lam, K.B.H., Omar, O.M., & Taheri, S. (2021). The prevalence of comorbid depression and anxiety symptoms in a population-based sample of video game players. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 10(3), 251–263. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8470111/
- Chen, Y., & Zhang, L. (2018). The impact of temperature on gaming productivity: evidence from online games. ResearchGate. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net