With the majority of people working remotely and increasing their time spent on screens, we were curious to know how someone who typically spends hours a day in front of digital devices deals with the day-to-day of excessive screen time. Kurt Schray, 28, from Leesburg, Virginia, is a competitive esports athlete. We asked him to share a bit about his experiences as a professional gamer, what symptoms he notices throughout his day, and how he tries to counteract his time spent on devices.
How Did You Start Gaming?
I’ve played games since the original Castle Wolfenstein and Doom when I was 4 and my dad would play, but I started to really put in the time when Halo 2 came out (2004) and online play became a big thing.
What Games Do You Play?
I currently play Smite professionally but have also competed in almost every battle royale that has come out since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), an online multiplayer game released in 2017. Recently, I’ve been putting my extra time into Valorant, a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter game not fully available yet, to see where that goes for me.
What Does Your Standard Setup for Gaming Look Like?
I have a gaming PC, a streaming PC, 4 monitors, and a giant desk. Basically, my dream setup with a lot of screens.
How Much Time Do You Spend On Screens In a Given Day? What Are You Typically Doing In That Time?
I would say I spend about 12 hours gaming, editing, and streaming – then another 2 hours watching Netflix or scrolling on social media on my phone.
Have You Found Yourself Spending More or Less Time On Screens Since COVID-19?
I think around the same. Maybe a little bit more time considering there’s not much else to do.
Do You Notice Any Aches or Pains After Long Hours of Gaming?
My eyes used to dry out and get tired, but that is mostly gone. Now, it’s mainly my back, knees, and hips from sitting for so long. I am 6’5, and while my chair is insanely comfortable, I am sitting way too much. I try to get up and stretch and walk around when I can.
Where Do You Notice the Most Fatigue?
I definitely feel it in my eyes and my head. I also notice that my reaction time slows down once I hit that 10-hour mark.
Is There a Particular Situation When You Notice It’s Worse? (At night vs midday; on a phone vs a desktop vs a laptop vs a tablet; etc.)
My phone doesn’t really bug me, so it’s mainly when I am at my gaming setup.
What Do You Do When You’re Not Playing/Gaming?
I am fairly into cars. I have a C7 Corvette, an RS3, and a truck that I have gotten work done to, so I tend to drive in my free time. Oh, and eat good food!
What Do You Eat/Drink On a Daily Basis?
Breakfast is usually eggs, a bagel, and meat of some kind (sausage, bacon, etc.). Lunch is a sandwich and chips. My wife and I usually make dinner. Things like tacos, chicken thighs with veggies/rice, pasta are all on the list – just depends on what we feel like eating.
Do You Think A Lot About What Goes Into Your Body?
I do, but I didn’t always. I used to eat anything and snack a lot. When I bought my own house, I started to cut that stuff out and eat smaller portions.
I try to, but with my schedule, sometimes those things are forced to take a backseat. To help, I started taking EyePromise® Screen Shield™ Pro, a vitamin that has the important ingredients that support my eyes and give my overall nutritional intake a boost.
Do You Exercise? If So, What Kind of Exercises Do You Do?
I try to do 20 minutes every other day. I like to ride a Peloton bike, use free weights for things like bench pressing, do bodyweight stuff like pushups, and utilize some punching bag workouts.
What Did You Think?
Did his answers surprise you? If they did, you’re not alone. When people typically think of gamers, they don’t often associate them with someone who is conscious of what they’re eating and exercising regularly. The truth is: gamers are just like any other athlete. They have a certain skill level they need to maintain, and they’re looking for any way to get an edge, whether it’s a cutting-edge monitor, an ergonomic chair, a world-class keyboard, or an optimized body and mind.