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Ergonomic Mistakes You May Be Making When Gaming – A Guide

03 March 2023

Knowing how to set up your gaming PC in an ideal way can make a significant difference in your overall performance. However, in the heated moments of competitive games, we may forget all about ergonomics and posture, focusing solely on our game. The problem with that is that we're putting our bodies and health at risk and compromising our ability to perform well at our games. So, it's possible you may be making ergonomic mistakes without even realizing it. This article, therefore, highlights some ergonomic mistakes you may be making when gaming. When you know what these mistakes are, you can identify your gaming posture and position and make adjustments immediately for almost immediate benefits in playing comfort.

It's important to note that the following mistakes highlighted in this article are particularly directed toward PC gamers who use mice and keyboards. Gamers who use controllers or console gamers have more flexibility with their seating position because they can hold the controller in their hands. Therefore, they may not need to stretch their arms to reach the mouse, which could compromise ergonomics, as explained in this article. With that said, lets get into it.

Why Is Ergonomics Important?

Before highlighting potential ergonomic mistakes you may be making when gaming, it's crucial to understand why you should care about ergonomics in the first place. Well, ergonomics is a practice in which you set up your gear and furniture in a way that you achieve maximum efficiency. In the realm of playing video games, it can mean the following.

1. You put your body at a much lower risk of pain and strain in specific areas, specifically your back, neck, shoulders, and arms. As a result, you also help reduce the risk of long-term injury, which can prevent you from playing video games competitively for months if the injury is serious.

2. You can sit far more comfortably than otherwise when you take care to achieve good ergonomics. Better comfort can allow you to play your favorite games for longer sessions without feeling exhausted or in pain later.

3. You can significantly improve your overall performance at gaming by ensuring that you have perfect mobility when using your mouse and good visibility of the monitor screen.

Ergonomic Mistakes You May Be Making When Gaming

Gaming for several hours can take a toll on your body, especially if you're not paying attention to good ergonomics. In addition to that, you may also be convinced that you're following best ergonomics practices, but there's a chance that you're overlooking some aspects. With that said, we have highlighted some crucial and common ergonomic mistakes you may be making when gaming. Once you know what these mistakes are, you can immediately make the necessary changes.

Leaning Forward When Gaming

It's not uncommon for gamers to lean forward during an intense match. They may do so even if it makes little to no difference in their overall performance. While it's okay to move around a bit and mix up your seating position to keep your body active, you should maintain good posture for most of your gaming session. Therefore, make it a point to avoid leaning forward whenever you feel the urge to. By leaning forward, you can cause rounded shoulders. So, your back will be curved, which can lead to back pain in the long term.

Instead, make sure that you're leaning against your ergonomic gaming chair's backrest. Your entire back should be supported. In addition to that, if you invest in a high-quality ergonomic gaming chair by FlexiSpot that includes a headrest and headrest pillow. This chair can, therefore, allow you to sit with good posture by making sure that your entire upper body is being supported by your chair.

Sitting Too Far from Your Desk

One of the lesser-known ergonomic mistakes you may be making when gaming is sitting too far from your desk. You can determine the ideal distance by looking at the position of your elbows. So, you should be close enough to your desk so that your elbows are at about 90 degrees. If you're sitting too far, you may have to lift your elbow off of your gaming chair's armrest. As a result, you may start to experience a condition known as mouse shoulder.

This condition occurs when your shoulder muscles are holding up your arm so that you can use your mouse effectively. Not fixing your posture, in this case, can lead to shoulder pain, which can prevent you from playing altogether.

You Are Only Resting Your Elbow on the Armrest of Your Gaming Chair

In addition to keeping your elbows in the ideal position, you should ensure that your entire forearm is resting on the armrest of your ergonomic gaming chair. Resting only your elbow will lead to a condition known as mouse elbow. In that case, you can cause pain in your elbow, and you may also not use your mouse and keyboard in the ideal positions.

You may need to adjust the height of your chair's armrests to achieve the ideal position. At the same time, you may need to adjust how close or far you're seated from your ergonomic gaming desk.

Sitting Too Far from Your Screen

You will compromise our overall visibility if you sit too far away from your screen when gaming. The ideal distance is to be at arm's length from your eyes. This distance will ensure that you can see properly while also helping you limit eye strain after long gaming sessions. If you sit too far from your screen, you may also find yourself leaning forward to see your screen better. In that case, you're not sitting with the correct posture, potentially leading to rounded shoulders.

Keeping Your Screen Too Low

Another ergonomic mistake that you may be making when gaming is keeping your monitor too low. The best height is to keep the upper half of your screen at eye level when you're in the correct posture with your back upright. This position will prevent you from lowering your head, which can lead to neck strain in the long term.

If your monitor cannot be raised to the ideal height, consider investing in a monitor arm or a laptop stand if you're gaming on a laptop. These accessories are relatively affordable and can considerably improve the overall adjustability of your setup.

Not Keeping Your Hands at the Ideal Placement

Using a mouse and keyboard may be the perfect way to play a competitive shooter, but you can easily cause injury to your wrists if you do not take the time to position your hands in the ideal placement.

So, what you must do is place one hand on your mouse and the other hand on the WASD keys on your keyboard. These keys are where your hands are going to be resting for most of your gaming session. After that, move your keyboard and mouse around until your hands are resting right in front of your shoulders, i.e., at shoulder-width apart. This way, you won't have to stretch your arms forward to be able to move your mouse. At the same time, you'll have maximum mobility with your mouse, allowing you to aim at your targets in your game quickly.

Not Keeping Yourself Hydrated

Something that can often go overlooked during long gaming sessions is keeping your body fueled, and that includes staying hydrated. You should make it a point to place a reusable bottle of water near you whenever you're gaming. This way, you can reach over and drink water when waiting in the lobby of a game. You are also more likely to hydrate yourself properly if water is easily accessible than it would be if you had to get off your seat to fetch water each time.

You should also take time out to eat some snacks to make sure that your body has the nutrients to allow you to stay focused on your game.

Reclining Your Seat Excessively

If your ergonomic gaming chair has a reclining feature, make sure that you set it between 100 and 110 degrees. You should sit relatively upright when gaming on your PC because sitting at an excessively reclined position will force you to stretch forward to reach your mouse and keyboard. As mentioned above, the ideal position of your elbow is 90 degrees. In addition to that, you may sit too far away from your screen, and if you sit up to see better, you may not have the support of your chair's backrest.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know some ergonomic mistakes you may be making when gaming, it's time to start making a change in the way you sit and play your games. Moreover, you should also consider investing in high-quality furniture for better comfort.