It’s a well known fact that growing a Twitch channel takes hard work, dedication and many hours spent in the same room. Although it can be a lucrative job, it can have some serious physical and mental side effects if precautions aren’t taken.
Sitting at a computer for hours on end is not a healthy habit, but necessary if you’re to achieve your goals on Twitch, Mixer or YouTube.
In this article we provide some easy to follow and actionable tips on how you can make the room and how you behave on stream to make it a little bit healthier and give a boost to your mental health.
How To Stream And Be Healthier At The Same Time
This guide won’t make streaming for long hours healthy, but they can make it a little healthier along with a good routine when you’re off stream such as exercise, time away from screens and quality sleep.
This is absolutely at the top of the list while on stream and off stream. Our body uses energy even when we’re sedentary and we want our body to have the cleanest fuel possible. Eating better will give you higher energy, help to keep you focused and a sense of wellbeing.
Eating a big, healthy meal before stream will go along way followed by healthy snacks during. You can also schedule in a lunch break to have another meal.
The most nutrient dense vegetables are spinach, carrots, broccoli, kale, green peas, beetroots and sweet potatoes. These can be cooked however you like or blended together into a powerful smoothie.
Vegetables are the best source of fibre, and fibre is what’s needed to have a healthy gut.
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or a meat eater you need protein. The healthiest sources of them are white fish, greek yoghurt, beans peas and lentils, chicken, tofu, peanut butter, milk. We would avoid red meats as a source of protein.
Protein are the building blocks of muscles and you need it to maintain them even when you’re sat at a chair for hours on end during a live stream.
Carbs give you instant energy and when eaten right, can make you feel more energetic than unhealthy sodas or energy drinks. Healthy carbs can come from quinoa, oats (a big bowl of porridge before a stream is a great idea), bananas, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, blueberries, apples and chickpeas. Pasta might be easy to make but you don’t get an awful lot more than JUST the carbs.
Snack the right way
Unless you have scheduled breaks during a streaming day, then snacking is often what streamers have to do (or just not eat which we DO NOT recommend). Here are some healthy snack ideas during your stream
- Nuts and seeds – plenty of protein and carbs
- Fruit – vitamins and minerals
- Carrot/celery sticks with hummus
- Dried fruit – trail mix
- Apple and peanut butter
- Pre-made smoothie
- “Complete foods” such as Huel, Instant Complete, Ka’Chava etc
Unless you have sponsorship obligations, you should stick to just drinking water. Free, has no sugars and will hydrate your body. Water will keep you focused for long periods and there is no such thing as a sugar crash or caffeine burnout to worry about.
You’ll find yourself needing to drink less liquids throughout the day if the only liquid you drink is water.
It’s important to have the best lighting when streaming, but this won’t give you any vitamin D. Try to make sure some natural light flows into your streaming/gaming room and is able to shine on you.
If you’re worried about the glare it can cause or how it can make monitors hard to see, then place your streaming set up in front of a window and behind the camera.
If you live in a sunny location this can save you the money of having to invest in an expensive lighting system such as ring lights and whatnot.
Why is it so important? Well, as Medical News Today say “sunlight is essential for life” and it helps the body produce Vitamin D3 which supports healthy bones, calcium and supporting the immune system. Secondly, sunlight promotes a sensation of well-being and reduces depression – something full time streamers can struggle with.
Unless you’re streaming out and about or in a Hot Tub, then you’re going to be sat at a desk for hours on end. Sitting too much has been linked with a myriad of health problems as reported by the Mayo Clinic but as a streamer is is unavoidable, and can often end in tragedy.
However, by getting the right chair it can at least make life a little easier on your body along with other tips. Which chair to get?
There are hundreds of companies that want your money for their streaming chair, but the one who comes up most in top 5 or top 10 lists is from Secret Labs. It has lumbar support, head support, arm rests and helps to keep your posture straight.
Sitting down may not be healthy but a quality gaming chair will at least make it better.
Modify the streaming set up for your eyes
Your streaming set up is essential to your enjoyment of streaming and how you manage your channel. It will have your gaming PC, streaming PC (if you use two), monitors, audio mixers, camera and everything else. Small adjustment can make it a little healthier for you, particularly to help prevent eye strain. Get a tape measure out and make sure your screens are at least 20-24 inches from your eyes and 10 to 15 inches below eye level.
Staring at screens all day isn’t healthy but you can protect yourself somewhat by making changes to the distance between you and the displays.
Totally optional but it can make a significant difference for streamers who have allergies OR for streamers who are live from areas with high pollution, pollen and have pets. Indoor air can become stagnant and carry a lot of unhealthy particles, an air purifier will constantly monitor the air, trap particles in their filter and continually release clean air back into the room.
If you are a Twitch streamer with asthma, allergies or chronic breathing problems an air purifier can reduce the number of times you cough and wheeze on a stream which is a benefit to you and your viewers. But, which one?
The brand that people keep coming back to is Blueair.
Stand up or get a standing desk
Sitting down is one of the biggest drawbacks of streaming long sessions on Twitch, Mixer or YouTube. But, what if you could stand instead? Well, you can with a standing desk!
They won’t be to everyone’s tastes and it’s impractical to be standing and gaming for 6 hours or more in a day but, it’s always something to consider.
Perhaps you could have two set ups in your gaming room, one which is regular and another with the stand up desk where you are just chatting or streaming casually?
The benefits of standing (over sitting) are:
- Strengthen’s leg muscles
- Improves balance
- Burns more calories
- Improves blood flow around the body
If this isn’t for you, then focus on standing up for at least 3 minutes every hour. The University of Michigan says “Our bodies are built to move and doing so for approximately three minutes every hour helps us feel our best”.
You could even put it as a channel points reward. For all its controversy, Hot tub streaming is a lot healthier than gaming for this reason alone – have you seen how often they get up and move?
If you don’t want a stand up desk, or just can’t then an under desk exerciser is a fantastic way to burn some calories and keep your leg muscles active whilst sitting down. During long sitting periods, its the legs and back which can suffer, which includes blood circulation issues – a desk exercise can radically reduce the risk of such occurrences.
It’s not a perfect solution by any means, but neither is sitting at a computer for hours, but the point of this article is – how can you make your streaming/gaming room as healthy as possible. How can we make something that isn’t healthy not quite as bad.
Make it fun by using it as a channel points reward for your viewers. Perhaps 5 minutes of non stop use?
Reduce the volume on your headset
Here’s probably an unpopular opinion – you need to keep the volume down on your streaming headsets or risk damaging your hearing later down the line.
TIGA reports that ” Hearing damage is caused by the combination of how long you listen (time), how loud you listen (volume), and what you listen to (energy content). The combination of these three factors create a “sound dose”, if the dose is too high it starts to damage your hearing.”
The risks of continued loud noises blasting into your headset are:
- Hearing loss
So what can you do? Lowering the volume is obviously the most obvious thing to do to below 70dBA. It’s not easy to measure how loud the noise is but Deafblind.org suggest carrying out a ringing test to check your own hearing and literally holding your headset out in front of you and lowering it until you can just about hear it.
However, the best method is just to lower the volume of the audio, and just focus on your own voice on the stream.
Hearing loss and Tinnitus can often be irreversible, don’t make the mistake when you’re young that older you can’t fix.
Reduce the blue light
Blue lights are healthy and come from natural sunlight, however we don’t stare at the sun because it hurts. Too much blue lights can cause eye strain which leads to tiredness, headaches and a lack of focus.
Computer monitors emit a small amount of blue light but it is the length of time staring at this light which causes problems. On top of eyestrain it can also lead to poor quality sleep as it inhibits the production of melatonin – the sleep hormone.
Once you finish your stream you’ll most likely want to eat and then get a good night’s rest but blue light exposure can put a wall in front of that objective.
The first thing to do is literally reduce the blue lights on your operating system. For Windows 10, you can do it this way:
- Open up your start menu
- Select the gear icon to open up your settings menu
- Go to system settings (display, notifications, and power)
- Select display
- Turn the Night Light switch on
- Go to Night Light setting
In this menu, simply lower the blue to a level you’re happy with.
Another way is to wear glasses which have a blue light filter on the, these block the blue wavelength and allow the rest.