Gaming chairs are popular in the professional and amateur gaming community. But the chairs do a great deal more than make gamers look like they’re manning a spaceship, they have a lot to offer as far as bodily health.
Real gamers know the value of good posture and a comfortable seat, and gaming chairs combine both of those. If you are debating getting a gaming chair, or wondering how effective your gaming chair is, read this piece to find out if gaming chairs are good for you back or not.
Yes, gaming chairs are good for your back. They are designed with your spinal health in mind so that you can game for hours without causing permanent damage to your body. The combination of high, winged backrests, neck and skull support, and lumbar pillows make them the ideal type of chair for someone sitting for extended periods.
What Causes Back Pain?
To understand what may contribute to back pain and why a good chair is, so essential for a gamer, you should be aware of the causes and conditions related to back pain.
Muscle or Ligament Strain
Strain or constant tension can cause you to strain a muscle or ligament. Strains occur in gamers that don’t use proper gaming chairs and strain their body while sitting for extended periods.
A ruptured disc is when the soft materials between your spinal discs bulge out. Ruptured discs cause extreme pain and can make it uncomfortable or impossible to sit for a long time.
Arthritis can lead to back pain if it is present in your spine. In some cases, it can worsen and cause specific spinal health problems.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens your bones and makes them brittle and easy to break. It can lead to painful and debilitating fractures in your spine.
Gaming Chair Vs Office Chair
Gaming chairs and office chairs aren’t all that different. Gaming chairs are actually geared more towards comfort than office chairs are, so often offer more support and ergonomic properties.
Here is a breakdown of the difference between office and gaming chairs:
Gaming chair headrests are usually plush and comfortable, so you can relax your head and neck while you game. But most office chairs don’t have any sort of headrest.
Gaming chairs typically have winged backs to eliminate peripheral distractions and optimize your comfort. Office chairs have shorter backrests that usually reach the upper-back or mid-back.
Gaming chairs have bucket seats that are raised slightly in the front. A bucket seat makes the chair more comfortable for extended periods of sitting, so your legs don’t get exhausted from applying pressure to remain in your seat. Office chairs work the opposite way. Workers can stand up and sit down multiple times throughout the day with ease.
The armrests on gaming chairs are usually 3D or 4D armrests, so they maneuver in three or four directions. Adjustable armrests are especially great for gamers, so they can rest their arms and elbows comfortably while using a keyboard or controller. Usually, office chairs only have 2D armrests or fixed armrests. But there is less need for plushy armrests in office environments.
Gaming chairs almost always have better back support than office chairs because gamers are more likely to lean back than office workers are. Many gamers recline while they play, but most office workers do not or cannot lean back while at work.
Most gaming chairs have great lumbar support, so they are good for your back. Gaming chairs that don’t, often offer add-ons, so you can use a detachable lumbar pillow. Some office chairs have lumbar support, but it is more common in gaming chairs. The lumbar support on office chairs is often moderate and not ideal for extended periods of sitting.
Benefits of Good Posture
Practicing good posture does wonders for your body and comfort. The benefits of proper posture are far-reaching, and gaming chairs help foster good posture. Check out all the benefits of good posture a gaming chair can offer you.
Reduced Back Pain
When you slouch or lean over for long periods, it causes stress on your lower back that often leads to lower back pain. By practicing good posture you relieve stress on many parts of your spine, including intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, you should consider if your posture is affecting this. Poor posture results in tension and stress on your neck, which can directly result in chronic headaches.
When your vertebrae are properly aligned in the neutral spine position, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you upright. Your muscles get some relief, and your spine feels better.
When you slouch, it compresses your internal organs, and bodily processes like digestion slow down. When you have the correct posture, it allows your digestive tract to move substances with more ease.
Increased Lung Capacity
When you sit up tall and align your spine, it allows your lungs to take bigger, deeper breaths because they have more space to do so. Better breathing leads to an increase in energy and an overall more comfortable state.
When you practice proper posture, it relieves tension and compression of your veins, arteries, and capillaries which will result in better circulation that keeps you happy and healthy overall.
Awkward, improper sitting positions can cause extreme stress on your spine, hips, and all joints. When you use the correct posture, all of your joints can move freely and aren’t put under pressure. This is also important in preventing joint problems down the line like arthritis.
So if you are a hardcore gamer that is wondering if a gaming chair will improve your comfort and reduce back pain, the answer is a resounding yes. If you still play games for hours on your couch, hunched over your computer, or in a flimsy bean bag chair, it is probably time for you to upgrade.
Anyone that plays video games for more than 1 to 2 hours a day should consider investing in an ergonomic gaming chair so they can be comfortable and prioritize their spinal health. It is easy to forget about your posture when you’re blasting zombies and having fun, but you will feel the negative consequences in just a few short years if you aren’t feeling them already.
Don’t spend another day adding stress and tension to your neck, causing more health problems. Invest in a gaming chair so you can enjoy your hobby or profession without sacrificing your back’s health or your overall comfort. It’s a lot harder to win if you’re in pain!
Are office chairs better for your back?
No, actually gaming chairs are designed with better ergonomics because they are for mostly private use. Office chairs look sleek and professional and because of it have to neglect some ergonomic factors. But gaming chairs are designed with all the ergonomic facts in mind.
Do I need a lumbar pillow?
If your gaming chair already has good lumbar support or a detachable pillow, you probably don’t need another one. But on the off chance your chair doesn’t feature any lumbar support, you should definitely add one to your gaming setup to improve your posture and better your bodily health and comfort.
What’s the maximum amount of time you can sit?
The maximum time recommended by ergonomic professionals is 2 to 3 hours. After that, your body begins to take a toll, and you should stand up, stretch, and walk around if possible. For many office workers and professional gamers, this is not an option. That is why a comfortable and supportive chair is so essential.