If you are a hardcore gamer, you probably don't regret spending more than half of your day in front of a screen.
As you are spending so much of your time following your passion, you should at least do so in a responsible way. After all, you may hurt yourself while playing online games. Of course, hurting doesn't always come in the form of kicking a coffee table with your shin or punching a shelf out of frustration.
Rather, even the seemingly neutral act of sitting, staring at a screen, or using a mouse or controller over time can cause pain and discomfort, leading to repetitive strain injuries.
Research indicates that extended periods of sitting in front of the screen can result in musculoskeletal injuries. To minimize the risk of injuries associated with prolonged sitting and improper posture and improve our health and extend our lives, it's important that we adopt an ergonomic gaming posture. This is what you will find in this post. Let's look at the optimal ergonomics for gamers.
Ergonomics and Posture
Before we get started with the gamer's guide to optimal ergonomics, it's important to discuss both ergonomics and posture. Simply put, ergonomics is all about studying people as they interact with their working environment. The focus is all on creating an environment that can help us adopt the most optimal postures.
In an ergonomic workplace setting, human bodies are subject to the least amount of stress, enhancing the efficiency of the musculoskeletal system, which helps you stay comfortable, reduces the risk of injuries, and maximizes your productivity.
While the environment is critical, and you need an ergonomic setting to keep comfortable and maximize your productivity, it is equally important to take care of the posture as it is one of the most effective ways of minimizing the risk of pain, injuries, stiffness and overall poor health.
In its simplest form, posture refers to the arrangement of our body parts in association with each other in the various positions and movements that we take up throughout the day. To ensure that you actually have a better posture is to have a plan, which is why you need to learn about the components of correct posture that we share below.
So let's get started.
A Guide to Optimal Ergonomics for Gamers
With society collectively evolving over time to spend more time in front of screens, OHSA worked on developing the concept of ergonomics to aid in reducing stress on our bodies. After all, when there are aches and pains, it will impact your productivity as well as the quality of your life.
The practices of ergonomics aim to achieve the following objectives:
- Modify the work environment to reduce the risk of injury or negative impact on a worker's overall health,
- Modify workstations, so they are better aligned to the weight and height of the workers, and
- Collaborate with evolving technologies to create a safe work environment for years to come.
While the corporate world primarily developed ergonomics to protect their workers, as gamers, who also tend to spend long hours in front of their screens, it is important to follow the rules of ergonomics to maintain a healthy body and mind.
For gamers, there are several essential components within the gaming environment, and we take a closer look at each of them.
Monitor Height and Tilt
When sitting in an upright position, you need to ensure that your eyes should meet slightly above or at the upper quarter of the screen.
To ensure the most appropriate viewing angle, your monitor screen should be slightly tilted back, which ensures that the movement of your neck to look at various things on your screen is limited. The correct position of your eyes on the screen ensures that you are not using your upper neck to look up. Moreover, the appropriate placement of the monitor, as suggested, also ensures that the most active areas of the monitor are least visually straining. If your monitor is placed too high, it will require you to tilt your neck upwards, which may lead to strain. Similarly, if your monitor's height is set too low, you will push yourself into a forward head posture that will lead to neck and head strain.
Another critical component of optimal ergonomics for gamers is the monitor's distance. Make sure that the monitor is placed at least at 1-arm's length away from your body. While there is extensive research and suggestions about how far the monitor should be placed from your eyes (between 16 and 30 inches), a more practical way to set up the appropriate distance of your monitor is by using your arm's length.
Keyboard and Mouse
When it comes down to gamers, both keyboards and the mouse are of critical significance. Again when considering the ergonomics of the keyboard and mouse, it is vital to understand the position of the keyboard and the mouse. Ergonomic keyboards allow you to place your wrists in a neutral position, which causes a minimal amount of stress on the joints and tissues of your hand. However, many gamers do not prefer using keyboards for gaming as they are known to have a slower response time and lesser durability.
Since response times are critical in gaming, many gamers opt for a mouse; however, different types of mice can lead to different types of grip, which may affect the amount of stress on your hands, wrists, and forearms.
Fortunately, you can modify your wrist, palm, and finger's position to minimize the stress on your hand. However, it is important to remember that the type of keyboard or mouse you choose and for long you use it will eventually determine your risk of possible repetitive stress injury.
If you are a gamer who spends long hours in front of the screen playing games, then you need to pick up the keyboard or mouse that you are comfortable using and make sure you spend some time understanding proper posture while using the keyboard or mouse.
The Gaming Chair
Apart from your computer's components, perhaps the most important consideration for optimal ergonomics for gamers is a gaming chair. Since you will be spending several hours in front of a screen, you need to be in a comfortable sitting position and a gaming chair allows you that.
Make sure that the gaming chair you choose has a chair backrest angle between 90 and 120O. Moreover, it should have a lumbar support that aligns with your curve's natural curvature. An additional feature that you should look at when choosing a gaming chair is the height of the backrest. Make sure you go for a gaming chair that includes neck support. While neck support is not always required, it is a feature that adds more to your comfort.
Another aspect of a gaming chair that you should consider is the height of the chair. Make sure you opt for a gaming chair that allows you to place your hips and knees at the same level. Moreover, you should ensure that your feet are supported (either by the floor or on a footrest).
When your hips and knees are not aligned, it can lead to discomfort that will cause aches and pains in your thighs, hips, and lower back.
Furthermore, you shouldn't disregard the significance of the chair's armrests and seat cushion. Armrests ensure that your shoulders and hands are relaxed and comfortable as you play the game. The cushion is recommended as it takes off pressure from your hip bone. Moreover, an appropriate seat cushion allows you to sit comfortably for long hours.
While there are several ergonomic gaming chairs available on the market, one of the most reliable ergonomic gaming chairs that you can find in the market is the Ergonomic gaming chair 3397. The high-quality leather gaming chair features a supported armrest and backrest that ensure a comfortable sitting position. Moreover, it has an adjustable recline and a feature that allows you to flip up the armrests when you don't need arm support.
If you already have an ergonomic office chair, you may be wondering about what's the difference between a gaming chair and an office chair and whether ergonomic chairs are good for gaming or not? Gaming chairs are different from office chairs. While both types of chairs are designed to provide optimal support to the body, gaming ergonomic chairs are designed specifically for gamers who need better neck and arm support.
While ergonomic office chairs are also designed to provide optimal body support to people with a desk job, their design features are slightly different as office workers typically need better back support.
Optimal ergonomics for gamers is incomplete without desks. As gamers, you will need a desk that allows you to manage all the other components of your ergonomics properly. Make sure you opt for an ergonomic desk that allows you enough space so you can maintain the 1-arm rule for the monitor's distance. Moreover, the depth and height of your gaming desk should be such that it provides adequate space for your knees, allowing you to relax your shoulders.
Optimal ergonomics for gamers is all about providing optimal positions during gaming sessions so that your muscles remain in a relaxed position. By taking care of your desk, monitor position, and choosing the right keyboard and mouse, and an appropriate gaming chair, you can take care of your body while following your passion.