How to Sit in a Gaming Chair to Maintain Posture
Knowing how to sit in a gaming chair is the first step to getting the most out of your new piece of furniture.
After assembly, you need to know all of the best ways to tailor the chair's fit to your body.
Let's get into the key areas to focus on figuring out your new gaming chair's best posture.
What Is the Point of a Gaming Chair?
The majority of people who consider gaming chairs are looking for a substantial upgrade from their original office furniture.
Standard office chairs don't have much lumbar support, considering they're meant for average-length workdays.
Gaming chairs, on the other hand, are meant explicitly for day-long gaming sessions.
Overall, their quality is significantly better as well since they're made for all-day comfort.
You'll find several higher-quality parts and better weight restrictions to reduce wear and tear on the details.
If you're searching for a chair with more features than a traditional office chair, these models are ideal.
They typically offer multi-position locking, height adjustments, tilt adjustments, and even armrest adjustments.
You'll often find that the top-tier gaming chair designs have removable lumbar support cushions.
One of the more luxurious features is built-in massaging functions to help work away from stress.
Are Gaming Chairs Bad for Posture?
When gaming chairs first emerged on the market, some people were skeptical about their back support.
As one of the most highly advertised benefits of this furniture, you can bet they encourage the perfect gaming chair posture.
The majority of them are designed to be anatomically correct, allowing your spine to align correctly while seated.
You can also use the lumbar support cushions to help tailor the fit of the chair to your body type.
With the added components, you can ensure any troublesome areas along your spine are adequately supported.
However, just because the chairs are natively built to be good for posture, you must adjust them properly.
You'll want to ensure the model you choose is adjusted to your specifications; otherwise, it can be uncomfortable.
If you're tall, for example, and have the chair adjusted for a smaller user, you won't have sufficient back support.
This issue can lead to muscle cramping and discomfort after a short period.
Why Are Gaming Chairs So Uncomfortable?
It's common to find gaming chairs uncomfortable when you first transition to one from a traditional office chair.
With your existing furniture, you were likely accustomed to poor postures, such as hunching over.
When you introduce a gaming chair, your body is forced into a healthier upright position.
Allowing your back to adjust to the curvature of your new chair as well as its supportive features can cause some discomfort.
However, you'll begin to show significant improvements in overall comfort after a week or two.
It's also common for users to find their gaming chairs' material to be uncomfortable at first.
Leather, or faux leather, are two of the most popular materials for gaming chairs.
After being unboxed, the material will likely feel stiff and have less give than a standard office chair.
With regular use, you'll begin to notice the material will become more flexible.
You could also opt to find a gaming chair made of an alternate material, such as mesh or fabric.
There's far less of a chance that it will need to be broken in before you experience its real comfort.
How to Adjust a Gaming Chair
There are three main areas of focus to consider when it comes to adjusting your gaming chair.
You'll need to find the perfect seat height, lumbar support, and armrest height.
Ideally, you'll want to make sure you have a gaming chair with several adjustable components.
Adjusting the Seat
The first thing to look into is the height of your seat.
This adjustment will determine where your head is concerning your monitor or TV.
Ideally, your legs must be at a 90-degree angle when sitting in your chair.
It's also essential to ensure your feet can sit flat on the ground while you're in the chair.
Angles at less than 90 degrees encourage your lower back to curve excessively, which can cause significant tension.
Also, your legs can experience increased stress from trying to maintain a 90-degree angle on their own.
Some gaming chairs have the option to tilt the seat as well as the backrest.
This adjustment is convenient, but it's not necessary since most height adjustments accommodate seat tilt.
If you have a seat tilt function, ensure that it's panned slightly forward to bring your pelvis forward.
Adjusting the Backrest
The most crucial part of adjusting your gaming chair is the backrest tilt.
Most gaming chairs allow you to recline up to 180 degrees, which can be ideal for taking a rest mid-raid.
However, when you're doing regular computing, you'll need to find a tilt that perfectly suits your posture.
You'll likely find the most comfortable position is with your back in an upright position.
When learning how to sit in gaming chairs, your head should be positioned above your pelvis with the correct adjustment.
In gaming chairs, there are two primary types of tilting mechanisms: synchronous and asynchronous.
- Synchronous Tilt Mechanisms
These tilt mechanisms can be convenient if you don't want a custom approach to adjustments.
When you sit in a synchronous tilting chair, the backrest reclines automatically when you sit in the seat.
These models are designed to give you an anatomically-correct seat and back tilt, as well as an accurate seat pan.
- Asynchronous Tilt Mechanism
Gamers can prefer asynchronous chairs if you have small adjustments you want to make.
Instead of automatically adjusting the seat and backrest, you have to do so manually.
This process can be better depending on the activities you typically do at your desk.
For example, you might prefer a particular position for conference calls versus playing an RPG.
Also, asynchronous chairs are ideal if you have multiple people using the same workstation.
Each user can customize the sizing of the chair to meet their specific body type.
Lumbar Support Cushions
As mentioned, many gaming chairs either come with built-in or removable lumbar support cushions.
These small pillows are designed to improve the alignment of your spine and reduce significant stress.
Your lower support cushion should be nestled comfortably in the small of your back, enhancing your natural curvature.
If you have an upper cushion, it should be positioned at the back of your neck.
Some users find that the cushions are too uncomfortable for the posture they want to maintain.
If that's the case for you, you can easily remove the cushions.
Adjusting the Armrests
When you have the right armrest adjustment, you'll find your shoulder, neck, and upper back are less sore.
Without the proper adjustment, your back is responsible for managing the majority of your arm weight.
Like your legs, there should be a 90-degree angle between your lower and upper arm when resting.
A sure-fire way to find the perfect adjustment is to put your armrests in line with your desktop.
You'll want to ensure that you can easily reach your keyboard and mouse without having to hunch over.
Another armrest adjustment to consider is their width, which should be in line with your shoulders.
If you feel like you're in an unnatural position, try adjusting them more inward or outward.
How Should You Sit in a Gaming Chair?
Now that you have all of the perfect adjustments made, it's time to consider how to sit in your new chair.
Although the chair helps keep you positioned correctly, there are things you'll need to do as well.
Promote Proper Posture
When you're seated, be aware of your posture and avoid slouching, slumping your shoulders, and protruding your neck.
If you find you're overextending yourself trying to view small details on your monitor, bring the monitor to you.
Typically, if you find it's challenging to work at your station, it's because your chair needs further adjustments.
Relax Your Shoulders
It's easy to get tense when you're in an intense PVP match, but relaxing your shoulders is essential.
You'll probably lose focus on maintaining the perfect posture, but it's easy to correct yourself when you remember.
You'll begin to feel a stiffness working its way up to your neck if your neck is stiff while gaming.
Keep Your Feet Planted
As mentioned, your legs must be at a 90-degree angle when seated.
Ensuring your feet are planted flat on the ground can promote the proper angle to reduce back stress.
It's easy to sit with your toes pointed or legs extended while gaming, but your spine will be significantly affected.
Don't Cross Your Legs
The seat width of gaming chairs makes it tempting to sit with your legs crossed either under your body or in front.
When you do this, you're reducing the control your legs have over the curvature of your back.
Even though it can be comfortable for an hour or two, you'll be increasing your back stress.
One of the essential parts of learning how to sit in gaming chairs is to make sure you take breaks.
You can achieve the perfect gaming chair posture, but giving your back time to relax is essential.
Taking a brief walk around your office helps to promote healthy blood circulation and muscle health.
Also, you'll be giving your eyes a break from your game, reducing strain and the likelihood of headaches.
Regardless of if you're gaming or working, taking breaks throughout the day is essential.
Forgotten Ways to Improve Posture
There are a few other ways to improve ergonomics outside of adjusting your chair and ensuring you maintain proper posture.
From ergonomic footrests to adjusting your desk height, below are a few additional tips that could help.
Adding an Ergonomic Footrest
You might find that some gaming chairs come with built-in footrests.
These components are mostly designed for when you're fully reclined and looking to relax.
As an alternative, investing in an ergonomic footrest can significantly improve your posture.
Sometimes, it can be hard to find the ideal seat adjustment, so your legs are kept at a 90-degree angle.
These footrests are easily placed at the bottom of your chair and help to reduce thigh pressure.
They can also be beneficial for preventing your body from entering static positions.
Static positions can be dangerous for your long-term health, as they can lead to disc degeneration.
Also, you might begin to notice extended periods of fatigue, which can significantly reduce your performance.
Adjusting Your Monitor
Do you find yourself leaning into your monitor throughout the day to see the display correctly?
You might have also begun to notice you're craning your neck upwards to get the ideal view.
If either of these issues affects your gaming, it's time to adjust your monitor.
The majority of monitors have height settings as well as tilt adjustments so you can have optimal viewing.
Along with adjusting your chair, you need to make sure your monitor is perfectly angled to prevent neck strain.
Ideally, you should be able to look straight ahead without tilting your neck up or down.
Finding the Perfect Desk Height
If you have an adjustable desk, like a standing desk, you should be able to raise and lower your desktop.
Sometimes, this adjustment can be what you need to find the ideal arm height and neck posturing.
You'll want to ensure your arms are at a 90-degree angle while the armrests of your chair are inline with the desktop.
Similar to adjusting your monitor, your neck should be comfortable when looking forward at your display.
Standing desks can be a hefty investment, but they're well worth the investment.
Instead of having to get up and walk away from your computer for breaks, you can stand and game simultaneously.
How to Sit in a Gaming Chair: Final Thoughts
When you're learning how to sit in a gaming chair, there are plenty of features to consider.
Not only do you need to ideal chair height, but tilt, armrest positioning, and lumbar support as well.
By adjusting all of your office furniture, you can achieve the perfect ergonomics for any activity.