Hardcore gamers spend hours or even days beating the competition. If you’re that type of gamer, you probably understand how important it is to be in a correct sitting posture during long gaming sessions for the sake of your neck and back’s health.
That’s where gaming chairs come into play. From the stylish design to the backrests and armrests, gaming chairs are designed with gamers in mind.
However, understanding how to sit in a gaming chair properly is essential to make the most out of it, and that’s exactly what we’ll shed light on in this guide.
How Gaming Chairs and Office Chairs Differ
Office chairs and gaming chairs have multiple substantial differences that make them suitable for different uses. For example, gaming chairs often come with fixed headrests, while office chairs either have a removable one or none at all. Another significant difference is that office chairs are usually winged, while office chairs aren’t.
Here’s a more detailed overview of the differences between the two:
|Office Chair||Gaming Chair|
|Seat Pan||Flat||Bucket Seat|
|Lumbar Support||Fixed or Adjustable||Pillow|
|Price||Cheap or Moderate||Expensive|
How to Sit Comfortably in Your Gaming Chair
Adopting a healthy sitting posture in your gaming chair is more important than you think. After all, no chair in the world can accommodate all body sizes and measurements without requiring the user to make some custom adjustments to help you stay in a neutral position.
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is to buy a suitably sized chair. Sitting in a confined chair will make it harder for you to relax, let alone make adjustments to suit your body measurements.
For extra help in this matter, you can refer to the manufacturer’s seat size guide to determine what size to choose. But even after choosing the right size, you need to know how to sit comfortably to get the maximum benefit from this customized chair, and here is how:
Adjust the Seat Height and Depth
Pinpointing the right seat height is all about your body measurements. A good gaming chair allows you to adjust your seat height and depth which makes a huge difference. So make sure you buy a gaming chair that comes with adjustable seat height.
To figure out what height you should position the seat at, sit with your feet flat on the ground and keep on adjusting the height until your thighs and lower parts of your legs are at a 90-degree angle to your knees. Your upper body’s angle should be at 90 degrees too. This ensures that you sit upright, don’t inappropriately lean forward and that your body weight is perfectly supported for extended sitting.
And to adjust the seat depth, you need to make sure that your knees are at least a few inches away from the seat’s edge. Also, your back should be rested directly on the backrest.
Put Your Chair at a Comfortable Tilt
Ideally, your seat tilt should be positioned slightly forward to allow your pelvis to protrude a bit, protecting your spine from incurring an extra load.
Some gaming chairs feature a synchronous tilt mechanism, in which adjusting the backrest’s inclination adjusts the seat’s inclination too. An asynchronous tilt mechanism, on the other hand, allows you to adjust each one separately.
Of course, it’s preferable that you get a gaming chair with an asynchronous tilt mechanism, as it gives you more freedom in your posture adjustments.
Adjust the Backrest
Most gaming chairs have 3 backrest angles: 95, 130, and 170 degrees. The 95-degree mode is for gaming, while the 130-degree position is for reading or taking quick breaks between gaming sessions. The 170-degree position is ideal for taking extended breaks or short naps.
Putting your chair’s backrest in a reclined position is highly preferable to reduce the pressure placed on your lumbar spine.
Use the Neck Support
Using neck support is a great way to relax your muscles when taking short breaks between your gaming sessions. You don’t necessarily need to keep your head on it the whole time, though; a couple of minutes every 20-30 minutes would suffice.
Position the Armrests
Gaming chairs come with 3D armrests that let you adjust their height and horizontal distance. Ensuring that your armrests are correctly positioned is essential because using a gaming chair at poorly adjusted positions will strain your shoulders, neck, and upper back.
Some gaming chairs also come with 4D armrests that let you rotate them.
Put the Display at a Suitable Height
Adjusting the height of the display is essential to prevent unnecessary strain on your neck and shoulders. Ideally, the upper third of the screen should be leveled with your eyes without you having to raise or lower your chin.
Adjust the Lumbar Support
Almost all gaming chairs have lumbar supports that make the backrest follow the natural curve of the spine.
If you’re used to sitting in chairs with straight backrests, lumbar support might feel a bit awkward for you. Yet, you’ll get used to it quickly to the point that sitting in a straight-back chair will be uncomfortable for you.
Remember that you can protrude the lumbar support until you find a spot where you feel most comfortable.
Consider Getting a Footrest
Some gaming chairs come with footrests, while many others don’t. However, adding a footrest to your setup can be incredibly beneficial especially for blood circulation. Here are some of the perks of using a footrest with your gaming chair:
Makes Sleeping Easier
If you want to be able to take some quick naps on your gaming chair, a footrest can help you fall asleep faster. Chairs in buses and airplanes almost always have footrests simply because they make it easier for passengers to sleep better.
Alleviates Some Pressure Off Your Thighs
When your feet are on the ground, your thighs press against the seat with the effect of gravity. With a footrest, some of that pressure is transferred to the lower back.
You can combine the footrest with lumbar support to relax your back too.
When you sit in a static position for a long time, too much load is placed on your back and shoulder muscles, which can lead to several problems down the line, like cumulative disc degeneration and fatigue.
When you put your feet on a footrest, moving your calf muscles and ankles becomes a whole lot easier, which in turn puts some pressure off your upper body muscles and joints.
Are Gaming Chairs Bad for Posture?
No, in fact, gaming chairs are designed specifically to help gamers stay in a proper sitting posture and feel comfortable during long gaming hours. It’s all about how you sit in them; you need to keep adjusting your posture until you find the most comfortable position.
However, if you opt for a gaming chair that’s too small or a low-quality one that barely lets you make any adjustments, your posture will be affected.
Eating Snacks While Gaming? Beware of This
Many gamers like to eat snacks like popcorn, chips, or nuts while gaming. If you’re one of those gamers, you need to make sure that the bowl of snacks is within your hand’s reach.
You don’t want to overextend your arm every time you want to eat a chip, as this will cause muscle strain and take away the benefits of sitting in a comfortable gaming chair.
Gaming chairs can save you from wrecking your body in the long term, but only if you adjust your posture and sit in a proper position.
Just make sure that you adjust the seat’s height, seat depth, armrests, and backrest to what suits you. Also, use the neck and lumbar support whenever possible to relax your body.
While gaming, you might get too immersed in the game and sit in awkward positions that can hurt your spine, muscles, and joints. That’s why you need to pay attention to how you sit.
You can set a recurring reminder on your phone to remind yourself that you need to maintain your position. Over time, you’ll get used to the correct posture, and deviating from it will make you feel uncomfortable.