The British Chiropractic Association is advising those lucky enough to unwrap a Nintendo Wii on Christmas day to warm up first else they could be nursing a injury‚ before the turkey is even cooked!
"As chiropractors we are encouraged that this new technology allows users to be so active especially at this time of year when the tendency is to do very little except eat and watch TV! 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", says Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association.
"Any unaccustomed exercise or activity lays yourself bare to problems that could occur from prolonged periods of active movements, so treat it like a gym work out - warming up and cooling down", Hutchful continued.
The BCA has even gone as far as a to develop a Wii Warm Up‚ to help users retain nimble fingers but avoid over exertion:
1) Shoulder Shrug - Slowly shrug your shoulders towards your ears. Hold for 2/3 seconds, and then relax. Repeat three 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 it forwards and hold for 2/3 seconds. Repeat three 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 three 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 three times. Always stretch very slowly.
5) Lower back loosen - Stand with your feet shoulder width apart slowly circle your hips five revolutions to the right and then five revolutions to your left.
But remember warm up exercises shouldn't be painful, so if they are stop!
Hutchful concludes: "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!".