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This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Stream Every Day

On paper, the life of a streamer sounds pretty ideal. Play video games, interact with adoring fans, make millions. Of course, anything with that type of description is almost by definition too good to be true, and the reality is that successful streamers have to manage demanding schedules and deal with toxic audience members, all while keeping their gaming skills sharp.

However, newer streamers may have a tough time even getting to the level at which they have to deal with those problems. Breaking into the streaming scene has grown to be more and more difficult as Twitch and other platforms have become increasingly populated, and employ shadier business practices. Attracting new viewers and converting them to subscribers requires commitment and dedication. One of the mantras that many new streamers try and commit to is simple: "stream every day."

The idea is that if streamers want to build a financially successful channel, then they need to take it seriously right away and commit to it full time. But is that a healthy way for someone to spend their time, or even the most efficient way to grow a Twitch channel? Here are the facts about what happens to your body when you stream every day, as well as some alternative approaches to growing a streaming channel.

There can be deadly physical consequences to streaming every day

One of the most eye-opening accounts of the potential negative consequences that the body can suffer due to excessive streaming comes from Joe Marino, a former full-time streamer who runs the Twitch channel Geekdomo.

In 2017, Marino published an article on Medium titled "Dying to Stream." In it, Marino described a grueling seven-day-a-week streaming routine in which "18 hour days were the norm." Opportunities to exercise were at a minimum while he spent that much time streaming, and that reality, plus a thyroid problem that developed during Mariono's military service, contributed to weight gain.

Marino was largely unconcerned about the potential health hazards of streaming every day, until tragedy struck his community. Dalsarius82, a fellow Twitch streamer, was found dead by his girlfriend in April 2016. While Dalsarius82's cause of death was not shared, it prompted Marino to assess his physical health with a visit to his doctor, who soon informed him that he had three blocked arteries that would require bypass surgery.

Failure to get that surgery and subsequently begin leading a healthier lifestyle would have put Marino at risk of a "drop dead event like the one that took out Dalsarius82."

Streaming every day can have mental health repercussions as well

The potential consequences of Marino's streaming schedule forced him to make a commitment to his health at the expense of the Twitch channel he had built. That choice was not an easy one for him, as Twitch was not merely a hobby but a source of income which "averaged middle to high 5 figures every year." However, Marino decided that his health and his family had to come first, ultimately abandoning his dream of streaming professionally to "Find that balance."

A lack of balance in a streamer's schedule doesn't necessarily always manifest itself in physical issues. Several streamers have reported mental health repercussions from trying to stream every day. In 2019, Tfue tweeted, "I feel trapped in a negative crawl space in my mind." Just a couple of tweets later, he announced that he was taking a break from streaming. 

That same year, Dexerto reports, popular Twitch personality HasanAbi cautioned both streamers and viewers about the potential negative mental health consequences of excessive streaming. HasanAbi was inspired to give those warnings when a fellow streamer, DansGaming, opened up about the loneliness he felt after abandoning his social relationships to focus on building his channel.

There are healthier ways to grow a gaming channel than streaming every day

While there are real consequences to just about anything done to excess, including drinking too much caffeine while gaming, that does not make streaming inherently dangerous, either as a hobby or a profession. Anyone serious about building an audience can still commit to it through various methods that do not necessarily entail committing to a schedule that can be harmful to a streamer's mental or physical health.

Veteran streamer MegKaylee shared a helpful video that offered five methods to aid growing streamers in raising visibility on their preferred channel, none of which involved streaming every single day. Instead, MegKaylee recommended that streamers diversify their online footprint by utilizing social media, finding a unique approach to content creation, and collaborating with other hosts.

Building a successful streaming channel on any platform does require, as Joe Marino puts it, "planning, preparation and some luck." Dedication is undoubtedly a key quality to making each of those factors work in a streamer's favor, but that commitment shouldn't endanger their ability to live a healthy life. If it does, it might be time to consider quitting streaming, just as Marino chose to do.