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Gaming Chair vs Office Chair - Which to Opt For?

18 September 2023

Most comparisons between office chairs and gaming chairs you'd find are with regard to which of them is better to use with your computer at a desk. But that's not how workers do things anymore.

In fact, you'd notice this in yourself as well, but most people will use their mobiles and tablets alongside their computers. You wouldn't leave your desk to check for new messages - you'd stay in your seat. Therefore, making the comparison between office chairs and gaming chairs should keep this in mind for a better analysis on the subject.

So, is a gaming chair better than an office chair, or vice versa? Which of these should you opt for if you're selecting one for your workstation?

Let's take a look.

Ergonomics of Chairs

Here's some facts about seating:

Non-ergonomic chairs aren't just uncomfortable, they can be straight up dangerous in the long run because of how much stress they can put on the muscles in your back, legs, arms and shoulders. Non-ergonomic chairs are a no-go when it comes to workstations where you have to spend long hours at a time.

Ergonomic office chairs are much better, since they come with adjustable options for arms, support for your back and height adjustment that lets you sit at the right position. However, these chairs are a lot more geared towards productivity at work, and can tire you out if you stay sitting for a long time.

Gaming chairs on the other hand, are also ergonomic. These are designed for sitting in for long periods, just like office chairs, so they support good posture, but they are also focused on providing rest. Office chairs are most often meant to sit and work in, so most office chairs will not provide you very good relaxation angles. Gaming chairs have these and much better reclines.

Still, the best type of chair will depend on your needs as a user, rather than the chair itself. In fact, the needs around seating will also change based on how the work environment, work requirements and the culture around work changes.

For example, in the past, non-ergonomic office chairs were just fine for desk workers for a long time, without causing any health risks.

But as computer use became part of our daily lives, the consequences of sitting in these chairs started coming to light, and ergonomic chairs came about. Fast forward a little bit and computer gaming started becoming more and more popular and even more time consuming - on top of being a full-time gig for some people - and the need for ergonomic, full-back gaming chairs to come around.

And now, multi-device computer use is the norm, which means that mobile phones and tablets are used just as much as actual computers for most desk workers. Think about it - how many days do you spend at your desk without even touching your phone? Chances are that number is close to zero, if not actually zero.

Why Multi-Device Computer Use Changes Seating Needs

Just as the kind of work you're doing changes your seating requirements, the tools you use to work with do as well.

Nowadays, as mobile use grows, the posture with which people tend to use their devices results in a problem called forward neck tilt. This is where your neck is no longer straight and in-line with your spine, but protrudes forward. As a result, the muscles around the neck, back and shoulders become weak and give rise to other issues.

To deal with this, you need proper neck support. In the past, when office work did not necessarily entail the use of mobile devices, neck support - while beneficial - was not a priority. This is no longer true.

On top of that, as WFH and remote work becomes more common now, sitting in formal poses is no longer required of workers. People who work from home can relax, but in doing so, plenty of them end up putting their bodies in more complex and unnatural positions that can cause more harm in the long run.

Therefore, the comparison of a gaming chair vs office chair needs to take all of these into account.

Musculoskeletal Problems

Modern day office workers face plenty of problems when it comes to their muscles and skeletal structure due to having chairs that are unable to support them properly. When you sit for very long stretches of time without having proper support, the lower back tends to flatten.

This is bad, on its own, because it means you'll be hunched over your desk without realizing. On top of that, when you're using your phones and tablets, you'll likely be holding it in your hand and bending your neck forward so you can look down at the screen.

Most people do this to provide comfort to their arms, since holding up the device would get tiring pretty fast. But what they don't realize is that it has a negative impact on your spine and neck. As you spend more time hunched over the desk, and looking down at your mobile screen, the spine tends to curve into a C shape.

For a healthy person, the lower back curves inwards just a bit. Without adequate back support in your chair, you'll find that the curve flattens by about half, which means that your back muscles have to work harder to keep your spine up, and this makes your posture fall apart.

This can affect your posture further, cause chronic pain, unnatural bending in the spine and much more.

Gaming Chairs vs Office Chairs

So, what does all of this have to do with the concern around which chair is better? Well, each of these chairs offers much the same features with regard to ergonomics, but has slight differences that could make one of them better than the other.

Back Support

The general consensus is that dynamic postures help with aligning the spine. While plenty of office chairs do come with back support and a backrest that follows the spine, many others do not. On the other hand, gaming chairs are designed specifically to follow that natural curve of the spine and thus protect it from stress, sprain and damage.

This means that at least any office chairs that aren't ergonomic should automatically be removed from your list of options, since they fail to provide adequate support in this regard.

And yet, a majority of ergonomic office chairs are also only able to provide support up to your mid-back and keep you upright at all times. This means that if you want to sit back for texting, you wouldn't be able to do so comfortably.

Gaming chairs come with full-back support with neutral posture, as well as options for you to sit back an relax.

Head Rest

Then comes the topic of neck support. As mentioned earlier, nowadays the trend is to use your mobile devices in tandem with your computer. Therefore, you won't be sitting and looking forward the whole time, but will likely take breaks in between tasks to text, scroll through your social feed a bit and other such things.

While ergonomic office chairs with mid-back support do have the benefit that they can encourage the habit of neutral posture, they don't really provide any support to your head and neck. Therefore, when you're using your phone while using your computer, you'll find that you'll still look down and curve your upper back, and this can also affect your posture.

On the other hand, full-back gaming chairs can provide this support, since they support your body all the way from the bottom of your spine up to your neck and head. Many gaming chairs also come with neck pillows that can support that curve and keep your neck supported so that you don't end up leaning forward to use your mobile phone.

The Consensus

So, what's the consensus? Gaming chairs provide a lot more benefit to your body given the way most people work at their desks today. In the past, ergonomic office chairs would have done just fine, because they can provide the back support needed and improve posture, but with phones and tablets being used at desks, this is no longer true.

If you're looking for a good gaming chair to add to your workstation, the Flexispot Gaming Chair GC02 is a great option.

This chair comes with an ergonomic design that provides the back support you need, as well as 2D armrests that can make sure your arms also remain supported. The cushion keeps you seated comfortably while you work without hurting.

The chair also has a removable headrest and lumbar pillow that you can use when needed, and adjust its position to suit your body's stature and shape.

The chair also has a 90-135 degree recline which can help when you're tired and want to lie back and relax for a while.