Nowadays, there are so many ways to play bingo, we’re positively spoiled for choice! You can visit your local church hall or bingo club, play on your desktop, have a dab on your laptop, load up your favorite site on your cell phone, or play via your tablet device. Many people like to use a combination of these methods in order to be able to play as flexibly as possible, whether they’re on the move or at home.
However, it’s easy to forget when you’re hunched over your desk or sprawled across the couch that your body needs a break from time-to-time, so here are some tips on how to get the best of your bingo experience without ending up seized up!
Playing in person at a club or hall
Players in modern bingo halls often benefit from comfier seating than our predecessors did; however, if the place you choose to play at only offers hard plastic chairs or school-style wooden seating, it’s not just a numb tush you’ll have to worry about. If there’s no lumbar support or way to raise your seat up and down to adjust the height, there’s not much you can do with regards to the chair itself (unless you want to bring your own from home). However, if you’re too low down to sit comfortably at the table, bring along a comfy cushion or two to boost your height and treat your rear to some extra padding. If possible, lean your spine against the back of the chair so that your upper and lower back is supported. If your chair has armrests, try to use them as much as possible to help support the weight of your arms and allow your neck and shoulders to relax. When there’s the opportunity to take a break between games, get up and take a stroll around to grab a drink or use the restroom, and give your arms and legs a good shake out.
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Playing on your desktop
While desktops can be great in many ways, they’re a heck of a lot less flexible than a laptop. So, if your desktop’s sat on top of your dining table, make sure you find a home for it in a more suitable location, such as a study or on top of a proper desk. If you struggle for space in your home, there are many compact office desks and even collapsible ones available on the market. Equally important is a decent, adjustable chair with a five-star base. Adjust the seat height so that your feet are placed flat on the floor and your knees are at the same height or slightly lower than your hips. Recline the back of your chair to an angle of between 100° and 110°. Make sure you are sat sufficiently close to your keyboard, and ensure it’s centered directly in front of your body. When you’re using your keyboard or computer mouse, your hands and wrists should be straight and your shoulders relaxed so, if necessary, invest in a wrist rest to gain the optimum position.
Playing on your laptop
Laptops are excellent for taking to the office or local café, and for using when you’re curled up in bed or watching TV on the sofa. However, they’re not particularly ergonomic, as the screen and keyboard cannot be separated. To get around this problem, and this only applies to occasional use, try playing online bingo in a comfortable chair that you can sit back in, and position your laptop in your lap to achieve the most neutral wrist position possible. Angle your laptop’s screen so that you can see the online bingo game clearly with the least amount of neck deviation. If you use your laptop regularly, you should place it on a desk in front of you, so that you can view the screen clearly without bending your neck. Elevate the laptop using a monitor pedestal if necessary.
Laptops are notorious for giving users sore necks and shoulders, so try to take regular breaks whenever possible, and spread your playtime over several smaller sessions rather than playing for several hours at a time.
Playing via your mobile phone or tablet device
According to medical experts, spending too much time texting and playing games on your phone can lead to “text neck”. In fact, one survey showed that 53% of cell phone users who were surveyed suffered from numbness or neck aches. Unfortunately, our necks are not designed to be bent forward for long periods of time, which is often what happens when we spend hours huddled over our smart-phones and tablets playing games and watching videos. It’s said that every inch our head moves forward puts an additional 10lbs of stress on our shoulders, neck, and spine. So, by craning your head forward by as little as two inches to play online bingo on your mobile or tablet, you might as well be wearing a 20lb sack of potatoes around your neck.
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So, how do you get around this problem of man versus machine? While limiting your use of your device can help, this might not be a viable option for you. So, if you’re determined to play online bingo in this manner, follow the experts’ advice by holding your phone or tablet at eye-level whenever practical – not necessarily with your arms, or they’ll be getting pretty sore as well! Use a stand or something suitable to prop the device up against safely if necessary. This will ensure you’re not looking down and putting unnecessary strain on your neck. Try to take frequent breaks every 15 to 20 minutes. Another way you can help prevent neck problems is by attending posture-oriented exercise classes (or using fitness DVDs at home) such as Pilates and yoga.
If you’ve been suffering from aches and pains and have only just realized that they may be down to how you play bingo, hopefully these simple pieces of advice will help you to minimize any problems in future. However, as with any medical concern, if you’ve been suffering from severe back, neck, or shoulder ache (or even eye strain), please make sure you consult a medical professional as soon as possible, as this guidance is aimed more at preventing pain from occurring in the first place rather than rectifying existing conditions, and is not sanctioned by a medical professional.