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Why Ergonomics Is Important for Esports Gamers

16 March 2023

Many of us know that we're supposed to sit upright when we're sitting at a desk, be it when working or when gaming. However, we may not be fully aware of various other aspects of good ergonomics that have short and long-term impacts on our health and livelihoods. Perhaps that is also due to the fact that we may not know why the way we sit at a desk is instrumental to maintaining good health and staying clear of various health risks. Well, that's what this article is attempting to rectify. It provides an overview of why ergonomics is important for esports gamers, detailing what ergonomics aspects you must keep in mind and how that can help you. Esports gamers, i.e., professional gamers who play competitively and get paid for it, put in several hours a day of practice to perform well in competitions. So, they need to ensure they follow proper ergonomics.

While this article is targeted specifically at esports gamers, any PC gamer can benefit from this article on the benefits of ergonomically setting up their equipment. You should also note that this guide is not for console gamers or controller-based gamers who can sit on a couch or bed to play their video games.

Why Ergonomics Is Important for Esports Gamers

To understand why ergonomics is important for esports gamers, we must provide a basic overview of what ergonomics is. Ergonomics is a practice in which gamers, in this case, set up their equipment in a way that maximizes their efficiency and comfort when playing. For example, placing your keyboard and mouse in the ideal positions allows you to make quick movements (when aiming, for example) with relative ease so that you can play at your fullest potential.

In addition to that, ergonomics also includes various practices that do not have to do specifically with the way you set up your equipment. For example, these ergonomic tips include:

Keeping yourself hydrated throughout your gaming sessions

Taking multiple breaks throughout your gaming sessions, which include looking away from your screen, stretching your body, and moving around in your room

With that said, let's get into the benefits of ergonomics to gamers.

It Can Boost Your Overall Gaming Performance

One of the most significant short-term benefits of adopting good ergonomics for gamers is that they may see an increase in their overall performance. When all of your equipment is set up right, you'll be to improve your mobility and maximize your visibility when gaming, which can be extremely useful when playing fast-paced video games, such as first-person shooter games.

The Ideal Placements Can Boost Your Performance

For example, the ideal placement for your keyboard and mouse is as follows.

You must place your hands shoulder-width apart. Next, move around your keyboard so that your fingers rest exactly atop the WASD keys when your hand is in the ideal position. If you're right-handed, then this is the position of your left hand. At the same time, you should move your mouse around until its neutral position is when your arms rest at shoulder-width apart. If you're using a mousepad, then you should move the mousepad around so that the mouse lies at the center of the mousepad when it's in the ideal position. This way, you'll have enough space to move your mouse around in all directions.

You can also save yourself from the hassle and consider a full-length gaming desk mousepad that covers the entirety of your desk. This way, you can ensure that you have enough room regardless of wherever you move your gaming peripherals.

The Relatively Lower Pain and Strain on Your Body Through Ergonomics Can Boost Your Performance

It's important to note that gamers can also allow ergonomics to boost their performance by limiting the risk to their health. For example, you may struggle to sit upright and keep your performance at a relatively optimal level if your neck is aching. A simple solution, in that case, is to ensure that you place your monitor in the ideal position.

The upper half (or quarter, if you want to be extremely accurate) of your screen should be at your eye level when you're sitting straight on your ergonomic gaming chair. This way, you won't need to strain your neck and eyes to look upward or downward at your screen.

Keep your screen at approximately arm's length away from your eyes. At this distance, you're most likely to be able to see everything on your screen clearly while limiting the strain on your eyes in the long term.

You can consider using a high-quality monitor arm to ensure that your screen is in the ideal position. The one by FlexiSpot allows you to adjust your monitor in all planes, with a range of distances. Thus, it's a great choice for gamers of different heights and setups. In addition to that, it's also relatively easy to install as it can be clamped onto your desk or grommeted into your desk for extra stability.

It Can Help Reduce Pain and Injury in the Long Term

Another crucial reason why ergonomics is important for esports gamers is that it helps reduce the risk of pain and injury in the long term. Sitting in one position for long periods can take a toll on your back, neck, eyes, arms, wrists, and shoulders. That is why you should be aware of good ergonomics so that you can keep your body healthy to play games with minimal pain. Moreover, if you sustain an injury because of poor ergonomics, you may need to take a break from gaming, which can last months. As a result, you may lose your source of income and entertainment.

So, here are some ways you can use ergonomics to limit pain and injury and certain conditions.

Adjust Your Ergonomic Gaming Chair to Reduce Back and Knee Pain

You can help reduce the risk of knee pain by adjusting the height of your ergonomic gaming chair. You'll put a strain on your knees if you sit too low. So, the ideal position is for your thighs to be relatively parallel to the floor, with your knees at the same level or slightly below your hips. This way, you'll be able to reduce the strain on your knees every time you stand up from your ergonomic gaming chair.

At the same time, you'll also reduce the risk of pain and strain in your lumbar spine by adjusting the height of your chair. That is to say that your feet should be flat on the floor when you're sitting in the ideal position. Your feet shouldn't dangle, and only your toes shouldn't be touching the floor.

Adjust Your Chair's Backrest Reclining Angle to Reduce the Risk of Back Pain

You can experience overall back pain if you sit with your shoulders rounded. You may start to experience that if you have reclined your seat too far back or are sitting too upright. In the case of the latter, you may have to sit up to see properly, compromising your lumbar support, and with the latter, you may be put in an awkward position, which can make it hard for you to sit straight for long periods. So, keep your chair's reclining position at about 100 to 110 degrees.

Adjust the Height of Your Armrests to Reduce the Risk of Mouse Shoulder, Mouse Elbow, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are a few health conditions that you can avoid by ensuring that you adjust the armrests on your chair when playing. So, the ideal position that you must look for is for your forearms to be parallel to the floor. At the same time, your entire forearm should rest on the armrest and not just your elbow. You will develop the condition mouse elbow if you only rest on your elbow on your armrest.

At the same time, you should ensure that your arms are resting at all times, even when using your mouse. If your arm is not resting on the armrest, you'll engage your shoulder muscles to keep your arm in the appropriate position to use your mouse. That can lead to mouse shoulder, which can cause shoulder injury.

The final thing to consider is that your wrists are relatively straight when they are on your ergonomic gaming desk. If your wrists are bent upward too much, you may be at high risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, which is when the muscles in your wrists and arms swell up and push against the nerves. As a result, you may experience a lot of pain or potentially permanent nerve damage.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know why ergonomics is important for esports gamers, you should consider investing in good furniture that can allow you to sit and play in the ideal position. In turn, you'll be more comfortable and potentially improve performance.