Many people consider gaming chairs only as the chairs used by gamers and overlook the real benefits of these chairs for the human back and overall health. Are gaming chairs good for your back? The answer is YES.
A well-designed gaming chair helps promote a good sitting posture and keep your back as close to its natural shape as possible. Features of gaming chairs such as adjustable armrests, lumbar support, reclining mechanism, and better air circulation enhance the overall comfort and well-being of users.
In this article, we will break down all your confusion regarding gaming chairs. We will be explaining all the benefits a gaming chair can bring to you. After reading the article, you would be in a better position to tell whether gaming chairs are good for your back or not.
Ergonomic Features of Gaming Chairs
Unlike traditional office chairs, gaming chairs offer a wide range of adjustability options for the armrests, height, tilt, etc, so users can easily customize the chair according to their preferences.
Most of the gaming chairs available in the market have excellent ergonomic features that can change your overall sitting experience.
Let’s take a look at the most critical ergonomic features of a well-built gaming chair that make them equally beneficial for traditional office workers as they are for gamers.
Adjustable Lumbar Support
Lumbar support in the majority of gaming chairs is in the form of a support cushion typically made of memory foam. High-quality gaming chairs provide fully adjustable lumbar support that allows users to customize the level of support for their lower back.
Another important and useful feature of a gaming chair is a backrest that can recline up to various degrees allowing the user to adjust the chair according to their comfort and not vice-versa. The angle of the back can naturally be adjusted to keep the legs relaxed. Most gaming chairs can recline between 100 and 135 degrees, which caters to the comfort level of a wide range of users.
Armrest adjustability is also a critical feature of gaming chairs. Adjustable armrest mechanisms let the users place the armrests in a position that best supports their elbows and arms. This keeps their upper body tension-free and relaxed during long working hours.
Adjustable Seat Height and Depth
Another great thing about gaming chairs is that they come with adjustable seat height and depth. The seat height of gaming chairs, like simple office chairs, should be such that your feet touch the floor when you bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. A seat height smaller or taller than this would result in pressure build-up on your hips and thighs respectively.
The neck pillow is another critical feature of gaming chairs that makes them highly effective for your back. Neck pillows, typically made of memory foam, allow the neck and head to stay in a comfortable healthy position.
In this way, it helps to prevent slouching or leaning in an uncomfortable posture.
Why are Gaming Chairs Good for Your Back?
As we have taken a glimpse at the different ergonomic features of a gaming chair, now let’s understand the benefits of a gaming chair.
Well, the modern nature of work demands workers to sit for long hours. While sitting, more pressure (about 40-90% more) is exerted on the back as compared to standing. This stress is even multiplied if you don’t have a nice sitting arrangement.
According to a study conducted by Cornell University, about 50% of people working in the industrial sector experience one or the other type of back problem. In most of these cases, the culprit is poor seat design.
So in this regard, the ergonomic and comfortable design of gaming chairs makes them highly recommended for reducing the risks of any fatigue or stress on the back. Some major benefits are mentioned below:
Supports Natural Curvature of the Back
Now the most pertinent question is “Is a gaming chair good for your back”? The answer is simple: It’s the best investment an office worker can make. A gaming chair is ergonomically designed keeping in view the natural anatomy of the human back.
A well-built gaming chair has a properly contoured backrest that fits right into the natural curvature of the human spine.
This provides support to the lower back of the human spine which is very beneficial for people who spend long hours working on the computer. If you get your hands on tall backrest gaming chairs, your entire back remains supported and you’ll be free from all sorts of back pains.
Provides Comfort to the Spine Area
Gaming chair provides high levels of comfort to the human back and spine while gaming or working on a computer for long hours. Traditional office chairs often lack comfortable seating arrangements which causes aches or pain in the back.
Gaming chairs, on the other hand, have soft, padded seats and backrests generally made of high-density foam or memory foam. These seats provide a high level of comfort and support to the back while sitting.
Eliminates Back Injuries and Strain Risk
The lower back of the human spine endures maximum pressure and is highly prone to risks and injuries. The adjustable lumbar support of gaming chairs helps support the natural s-shaped curve of the human spine by filling the gap between the spine and the backrest.
In addition, the thick padding of gaming chairs makes the sitting experience super comfortable which eliminates the risk of any strain or injury in the human back. It also addresses other posture-related injuries such as neck pain or shoulder aches.
Customizable Features and Associated Benefits
A good gaming chair provides a range of adjustability options that allow the user to customize it according to individual needs. Users can adjust the backrest and lumbar support so that it provides maximum support to the back. This helps in preventing back pain and in turn, reduces the risk of any injury to the human spine.
Promotes a Good Posture
A correct sitting posture helps to reduce the stress on the joints and muscles of the human body. The adjustable features of gaming chairs help a user to get correct spinal alignment which is vital for a good posture. A good posture in turn brings myriad other physical and mental benefits for users such as:
Reduces Headaches and Migraines
A bad sitting posture is one of the key triggers of severe headaches. An incorrect posture causes tension in the back, shoulders, and neck of the user which in turn leads to headaches and migraine. A correct posture promoted by a gaming chair helps in reducing the risks of such severe headaches.
Eliminates Depressive Thoughts
Depression and anxiety in most desk workers are primarily caused due to slumped posture. As we all know our body language impacts our thought processes and thinking levels to a large extent. A good sitting posture, therefore, automatically helps in alleviating the feelings of depression and anxiety in workers.
As discussed above, a good posture increases the energy levels of users which directly impacts their productivity. When a user is relieved of headaches, Migraines, and Depressive Thoughts, he/she is more likely to be super productive during working hours.
Back and neck pain proves to be a major distraction while playing games or doing some other work. Gaming chairs relieve users from all discomfort and pain so they can better concentrate on whatever task they are performing.
A hunched-over body compresses the internal organ systems of the body thus slowing the process of metabolism and digestion. A correct posture, on the contrary, regulates all the body organs. It improves body metabolism and in turn the digestive system.
In essence, a correct posture is good for the overall health and well-being of the human body.
How are Gaming Chairs Better than Traditional Office Chairs?
Having discussed the benefits of gaming chairs for your back and overall health, there come two more queries:
- Are gaming chairs better than normal office chairs?
- What type of chair should you buy?
Well, both of these questions can be well addressed by understanding different factors such as ergonomics, reclining mechanism, price range, and the user’s work nature.
Here we have explained all these factors in detail so that you can make a better choice for yourself:
Most gaming chairs have excellent ergonomic features such as adjustable armrests, backrests, lumbar support, seat height, and reclining mechanism. All these features enhance the comfort and support for users. Task chairs also provide more or less the same features.
However, sometimes it may lack a headrest or fully adjustable lumbar support. Although you can go for a headrest add-on or lumbar support pillow, that cannot always replace the need for built-in features. In general, both a gaming chair and a well-built office chair perform exceptionally well in terms of ergonomics.
A gaming chair generally offers an excellent reclining mechanism and leans back to 180 degrees. An office chair also has a reclining feature but it cannot lean back to such a wide range. So if you want a better reclining mechanism, you should go for a gaming chair.
When it comes to price range and affordability, a gaming chair and a well-built ergonomic office chair have no difference. The prices of both types start from $100 and can go up to $1000 or more.
So, we can say that it is the model and the specs of the chair that determine its price. However, on average, gaming chairs cost between $250 and $500. Generally, the more specs a chair has, the higher its cost, no matter if it is a gaming chair or an office chair.
High Tech Cool Features
Gaming chairs provide a range of high-tech features such as Bluetooth compatibility, built-in speakers, massage functionality, heating and cooling options, and steering wheel mounts.
These functions are generally missing in a traditional office. So if you are looking for a chair that provides all these fantastic features, get yourself a gaming chair.
In essence, the choice between a gaming chair and a normal office chair depends upon your specific needs and preferences.
Choosing the Right Gaming Chair for Yourself!
Now that you know what differentiates gaming chairs from traditional desk or office chairs, it’s time to pick one for yourself. Although all gaming chairs are aimed at providing exceptional back support, there are some things specific that vary from user to user.
Chair’s Backrest Height Compatibility with User’s Height
To start, you need to check out the compatibility of your height with that of your gaming chair’s backrest height. For example, people of short height should not get tall backrest gaming chairs as their shoulder area and head wouldn’t reach the chair’s upper portion. So they will end up being uncomfortable throughout the time they sit on the chair.
Chair’s Seat Height Measurements
Next comes the seat height measurements of gaming chairs. Whenever you’re buying a gaming chair, do look for ways to measure its seat height. The reason is that if a chair’s seat height doesn’t complement the user’s height, it leads to unnecessary pressure on the things and hip area. You have to either extend your legs or your feet will dangle off the floor.
Chair’s Seat depth Measurements
Last but not least, one should always measure the seat depth of the chair before picking it up. This is particularly true for gaming chairs as right seat depth measurements ensure that the users’ legs are well-supported and their body weights are evenly distributed. Hence, it’s inevitable for you to choose the chair keeping your height in mind.
For your ease, we’ve listed the ranges of all the above-mentioned factors according to four height categories. Based on your height, you can pick any gaming chair with the listed measurements of backrest height, seat height, and seat depth.
How to Adjust Gaming Chairs Properly?
As discussed above, gaming chairs provide an immense amount of comfort during sitting. However, just acquiring gaming chairs is not enough. Just like you adjust an office chair to prevent back pain or sit comfortably, you must also know how to adjust a gaming chair correctly to get all the above-mentioned benefits.
A gaming chair might feel uncomfortable in the beginning, however, once conditioned, it has immense ergonomic benefits. The following points must be kept in mind while using a gaming chair so that you can get the most out of it:
- Adjust your gaming chair to a comfortable height where your feet are balanced on the floor and your knees are bent at a right angle. Avoid crossing your legs as it leads to poor posture.
- Keep your sitting position such that your back and shoulders are always straight. Sit properly so that your body weight is evenly distributed across the seat.
- Adjust the lumbar support of the chair in a way that it fits straight into the small of your back.
- Keep the monitor screen right at your eye level so that you don’t have to raise or lower your neck to look at the screen.
- Adjust the armrests in a position where your shoulders are completely relaxed and your elbows make an angle of 90 degrees with them.
- Adjust the backrest at a comfortable angle where it supports the natural curve of your spine.
Despite the immense benefits of gaming chairs, the need for regular exercise cannot be undermined. Therefore, take regular breaks from work and perform some simple stretches.
Moreover, if you are suffering from existing back problems, it is recommended to consult a doctor or physical therapist. Only by following an overall active routine and a healthy diet, you would be able to get most of the health benefits of gaming chairs.
In a nutshell, gaming chairs are very good for your back. Gaming chairs have an ergonomic design that helps in preventing back pain and improve body posture. A good posture in turn makes the user super active and alert during working hours.
All these benefits of gaming chairs make them ideal not only for gamers but also for desk workers. However, one point to be kept in mind is that buying a gaming chair cannot automatically transform your sitting experience.
You have to adjust it according to your body type and working needs to extract all the promised benefits. Therefore, we have also explained how you can adjust a gaming chair to get all these benefits.