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How to Position a Mouse and Keyboard for PC Gaming

08 October 2023

Most PC games, specifically those who play shooter games, know the value of using a mouse and keyboard instead of a controller. However, setting it up right is integral to getting the best performance and preventing injuries in your wrists. A few factors go into setting these two devices, including their height, tilt, and distance from your body. Thus, this article offers a guide on how to position a mouse and keyboard for PC gaming. Following the ergonomic tips in this article may also help prevent strain and injury in other parts of your body, such as your neck and back.

Why Placing Your Mouse and Keyboard in the Ideal Position Is Crucial for PC Gaming

Two reasons make it essential to place your mouse and keyboard in the ideal position for PC gaming. The first is that it will improve your performance, and the second is it will help prevent pain and injury. In addition to damaging your health, pain and injury will also prevent you from playing (or playing well). That can easily become a problem for those who play competitively in esports competitions. So, invest in good equipment and set it up well to ensure that you're staying safe and healthy.

How to Position a Mouse and Keyboard for PC Gaming

Below are crucial details on how to position a mouse and keyboard for PC gaming.

Set Your Seat Height

While it may seem unusual to recommend fixing your seat first, it is essential to ensure that you're sitting in a position that minimizes strain on your wrists. This way, you won't lean forward, which is bad for your wrists and can compromise your mobility when using your mouse and keyboard. You'll also reduce the chances of lower back pain, which can keep you playing for long periods. Thus, here are essential factors to keep in mind.

1. Adjust the height of your ergonomic gaming chair so that your legs are parallel to the ground, with your knees slightly lower than your hips.

2. Make sure that your feet reach the floor and are planted firmly.

3. Sit with your lower back touching the backrest, and keep your back upright.

4. Tilt your seat's backrest to anywhere between 100 to 110 degrees to allow your elbows to be at the appropriate angle (about 90 degrees). This way, you'll give your elbows enough room to work properly without straining your shoulders.

5. Adjust the height of the armrest (if your gaming chair has this function. The ideal position is for your elbows to be about the same height or slightly higher than your wrists. Your shoulders will also be supported, putting them in a comfortable position to use your mouse and keyboard.

Set Your Desk Height

Setting up your ergonomic desk for gaming is crucial for positioning your keyboard and mouse because that's where your mouse and keyboard will rest. Thus, here are the adjustments you should make.

1. Adjust your desk height to where your wrists remain straight when you're using your keyboard or mouse. Some tilt upwards is acceptable, but too much of it may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist problems. A good way to notice the position of your wrists is to examine your forearms' position. Your forearms should be about parallel to the floor or slightly tilting downwards (with the wrist lower than the elbow).

2. Place your desk close enough to your seat so that your elbows are not extended greater than 90 degrees or below it. You will compromise your ability to move your mouse well if you don't position your elbows in a neutral position. As a result, you may ruin your aim or be unable to react quickly within heated battle sequences.

Set Your Keyboard and Mouse

Consider setting up your gaming desk and chair as the foundation for placing your keyboard and mouse in the ideal positions. Once you have that set, the next step is to set your keyboard and mouse in tandem. Follow these steps to stay comfortable.

1. Keep your keyboard and mouse at about shoulder-width apart. This means that your head should be in the center of the keyboard and the mouse. That said, one crucial factor here is that your keyboard hand's placement should be on the letters WASD because those are the ones you'll use to control your character. Thus, you should measure the shoulder-width distance from when one hand is in that position, and the other is on the mouse (which is placed at the center of the mouse pad). Placing your hands in this position will reduce bending in your wrists, which is critical to preventing injuries. It will also give you enough room to move about easily to ensure that you can aim with ease.

2. Use a mouse pad that gives you adequate room. If you have enough room, you won't need to constantly keep lifting your mouse as you reach the end of the pad. Of course, you'll still do that to bring your mouse to the neutral position, but you won't need to do that when you're seconds away from taking a shot. You can use the ergonomic gaming mouse pad by FlexiSpot that covers the entirety of a desk. As a result, you won't need to worry about running out of playing room or any kind of slippage for your keyboard.

3. Let the end of your palms rest at the edge of the keyboards instead of your wrists. Letting your wrists rest can significantly increases the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Crucial Tips to Keep Your Wrists Safe and Performance Uncompromised

Below are some crucial tips that can help make your gaming performance much better and keep your wrists safe in the long term.

Get the Essential Equipment

If you play video games every day or competitively, then it's essential that you invest in high-quality equipment. It will help prevent health problems down the line and ensure that you're playing to the best of your ability. Thus, you should look into getting a gaming mouse and gaming keyboard. A gaming mouse with a high DPI will reduce travel, and a low DPI will give better aim.

At the same time, it's worth investing in high-quality ergonomic furniture. For example, investing in a high-quality ergonomic gaming chair that has 3D armrest adjustment enables you to position your elbows, shoulders, and wrists in the ideal position.

While there's no real replacement for high-quality ergonomic furniture, there are some hacks you can do to save money in the short term. These hacks are listed below.

1. Increase your seat height by placing a large cushion atop the seat. Your height is relevant because it will ultimately help position your arms and elbows in the ideal position. So, you can consider this if you cannot yet purchase a gaming chair with height adjustability.

2. Place a shoebox below your feet to ensure they aren't dangling, enabling you to sit in the best position for your wrists in the long term.

3. Increase the height of your desk by placing it atop a large wooden plank.

Take Frequent Breaks to Maximize Performance

Give your wrists a break after every half an hour of playtime. If you're playing an online game, then take a break whenever you're in the lobby waiting for other players. Taking even a five-minute break and walking around your room will help reduce fatigue and keep your entire body healthier.

You can also perform particular wrist exercises during these breaks to help reduce the risk of wrist conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Some exercises include the following.

Closing your fists and then spreading your fingers open.

Creating an "o" shape with each of your fingers and your thumb while pushing out every other finger as hard as you can.

Gently bending each finger from the first and second joints backward.

You should also stop playing immediately if you experience numbness, a tingling sensation, or pain in either of your wrists.

Keep Hydrating Yourself

It can help to keep a bottle of water beside your gaming chair when you're playing your video games. That way, you can continue to keep hydrating yourself as you play. Getting lost in a game may prevent you from realizing that you're not hydrating yourself properly. Moreover, getting up to drink water may not be feasible in some esports competitions. So, a bottle of water can help solve that.

Final Words

We hope this guide on how to position a mouse and keyboard for PC gaming shows you how crucial and simple it is to place your gaming peripherals in the ideal position. For example, placing your mouse too much to one side, i.e., away from your shoulders, can result in strain and pain in your arms. So, finding the right position may take a few moments, but once you do, you can be sure that you're playing well and taking care of your health at the same time.