If you’re a PC gamer then you may spend a lot of time in front of your computer, sometimes many hours, as the games tend to be a bit of a second, or third, life for us. When spending so much time at your computer, a good gaming chair is important for mental and physical well-being.
This is true whether you’re a hardcore gamer going for the next kill, or a casual gamer solving puzzles and taking your sweet time dungeon crawling. We all need somewhere to place our behind, and just any old chair is not going to cut it.
If you also happen to work a desk job where you are already sitting most of the day, it becomes even more important that your gaming chair at home is a magical place to rest your behind.
In general, it’s not good to sit for long periods of time and it is important that you get up once in a while to stretch, stand, move around, etc., but you’ll ultimately end up back in your chair. Your computer desk and chair are your second home, so you should be sure you’re comfortable.
Ergonomics is a big deal for PC users of any caliber and I believe this goes double-true for PC gamers because of all the extra time they will ultimately spend in front of their computers throughout the course of their lifetime.
Below I’ll cover a few specific problems caused by those long hours of sitting on your bum, which are fairly obvious (neck, back, shoulder, and hip problems), but will also cover something a bit less obvious; mental health.
Lower Back Problems.
Sitting at your desk for long periods of time can lead to occasional twinges which can typically be resolved by getting up and moving around a bit, or stretching for a few minutes. Eventually, however, you could experience an ongoing ache or other back pain that can keep you from performing at your best.
When you sit chained to your desk for hours at a time it can lead to lower back pain which is the most-common type of back pain to experience from sitting at your computer desk all day.
If you raise your awareness a bit you may start to notice what is actually going on back there.
Slumping your back or slouching forward in your chair means your spine is out of alignment. That puts a strain on the muscles in your back.
The best practice is to make sure the length of your back reaches the back of your chair to help you sit upright. If there’s a gap then you could use a lumbar pillow for cushioning to help prevent yourself from slumping or slouching into poor posture.
Another good practice is to make sure your feet are resting flat on the floor, with your thighs parallel to the ground. Experts indicate that you want to avoid having your feet dangling off your chair, otherwise the weight of your legs aren’t supported which puts more strain on your back.
Some of today’s gaming chairs are designed with built-in lumbar pillows and are fully adjustable to make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground which goes a long way to preventing some of these issues.
Neck and Shoulder Problems.
Placing your keyboard monitor too far away on your desk can cause you to jut your neck and shoulders forward, throwing them out of alignment with the spine and straining the muscles. You’ll need a chair that allows you to comfortably sit up straight while still reaching your keyboard.
Frequent neck and shoulder stretches are important during those long gaming periods, certainly, but you’ll also want to be sure you use a chair with adjustable arm rests that allow your elbows to form a 90-degree angle. Experts indicate that the arm rest and the arm angle can help take tension off of the shoulders.
Most computer chairs these days have adjustable arms, and so the same can be said for most modern gaming chairs as well, which are really just souped-up computer chairs.
Being stuck sitting in a bent position on a daily basis, over time, shortens your hip flexors which can also cause pain. Tight hip flexors can also contribute to lower back soreness.
While you definitely want to stand up from your desk at regular intervals, experts will tell you that you want to get up from your desk every 20 to 30 minutes and move around. There are actually apps out there that can help remind you when to stand.
The chair at your computer desk, however, it’s your anchor, so you’re eventually going to come back to your desk and sit for more gaming. Gaming chairs these days have ergonomic seats that can help mitigate these problems in between standing sessions.
Comfort is Important to Morale.
Any one of these problems can lead to poor morale, and if you happen to have two problems occurs at once you’re really going to feel down. Neck pain, for example, can make it gaming at a desk pure agony if your seat isn’t adjustable.
Even when pain isn’t in the picture, just walking into your gaming room and seeing a nice chair in addition to your sweet gaming rig can instantly boost morale. After all, there’s no place like home, and your gaming chair is certainly your home within your home.
Work a Good Gaming Chair Into Your Budget.
There are computer chairs in all price ranges; cheap, reasonable, and expensive, but if you’re a PC gamer you should really consider a chair made specifically for gamers as they are designed for the rigors that a gamer’s body goes through.
Yes. Sitting can be rigorous. Humans were made to move, not sit for hours on end.
There are a few different styles, and a few different options, available on today’s gaming chairs, and in a forthcoming Blog post I am going to cover some of the vendors, their options, and the various styles available.
In general, you will get what you pay for, so consider working a good gaming chair into your budget. You spend so much time there as it is, so it eventually pays for itself in the issues it saves you in the end. Stay tuned!