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How Gamers Can Reduce Neck Pain with Ergonomic Furniture

20 March 2024

Neck pain can become an issue for PC gamers who spend several hours playing video games. That said, making simple adjustments to one's posture can help reduce the risk of neck pain. While you can make adjustments with basic equipment, it may help to get ergonomic furniture to help you sit in the correct position. So, this article explains how gamers can reduce neck pain with and without ergonomic furniture.

How Gamers Can Reduce Neck Pain

You are likely to experience neck pain when gaming because of a few factors. The first is that your neck is not in a neutral position. What this means is that your neck is not in line with your back. So, when you're seated, you'll need to make sure that your neck is not coming in front of your back, even when you're sitting in a reclined position.

The second problem is that your neck is bent downward or upward. This issue can result in eye strain as well. This is because your eyes won't be in a neutral position, especially if you're looking upward. Understanding the causes of neck pain when gaming can help you fix the problems effectively. So, you can correct these issues that cause neck pain by making the following changes in your gaming setup. Some changes also involve buying new furniture that can help you game comfortably and ergonomically.

Use an Ergonomic Gaming Chair with a Headrest

Your gaming chair should have a headrest so that you can rest your neck. So, make sure you pick a gaming chair with a backrest longer than your torso. This way, there won't be any part of your body that doesn't have support. Avoid using seating alternatives, such as bean bags, as your primary seat for gaming at a desk. Bean bags don't have adequate back support, let alone a headrest.

It's an added bonus if your ergonomic gaming chair comes with a removable headrest pillow. This way, you can adjust your seat so that your neck is in a neutral position regardless of what reclining position you use. On the other hand, it may be a good idea to remove the headrest pillow when sitting relatively upright. You don't want the pillow to push your head forward, preventing you from remaining in a neutral position.

Adjust the Recline on Your Gaming Chair to Reduce the Risk of Neck Pain

It's common for gamers to extend their head forward when they're sitting in a reclined position. Thus, it can be a good idea not to recline your seat beyond 125 degrees. However, if you want to relax, then make sure that you're sitting close enough to your screen so that you're not leaning your neck forward to see better. Moreover, it's best to use a controller if you're using a heavily reclined position. You're going to struggle to reach your keyboard and mouse in that position. As a result, you may start to slouch, and you'll strain your neck and back.

You should also avoid keeping the recline of your ergonomic gaming chair at 90 degrees or lower. This is because it can prevent you from sitting in a neutral position. Ideally, your neck, spine, and lower back should be in the same line, i.e., the line of gravity.

Sitting too upright may force you to lean forward and prevent your neck from being in line with the line of gravity. As a result, your neck muscles will be activated to keep your neck in the correct position. After some time, those muscles may feel strained, leading to neck pain.

Adjust the Position of Your Screen

One of the most effective ways how gamers can reduce neck pain is to adjust the position of their screens. There are two factors regarding your monitor's position: the height and the distance from you.

Get the Ideal Monitor Height

The top of your screen should be at your eye level. However, it is acceptable if the upper half is at your eye level. Adjusting your monitor height to these positions can allow you to keep your neck in a neutral placement.

Also, make sure to adjust the height when you recline your seat beyond your usual position. Your head will go lower when you recline your seat. So, the original position of your monitor may be too high, resulting in neck and eye strain. Thus, lower your screen to the best height. An ergonomic monitor arm with considerable adjustability can help make this change easy. However, if your monitor's stand has adequate height adjustment, you don't need to invest in a separate mount.

Most streamers who use two screens can benefit from a dual-monitor mount. A high-quality mount like the one from FlexiSpot offers exceptional adjustability. Thus, you can ensure that both screens are set up in a way that won't lead to neck strain. This is also the case when putting one screen in the landscape orientation and the other in the portrait adjustment.

Get the Ideal Distance of Your Screen

Your screen should be at arm's length from your eyes. Sitting too far or close can cause eye strain. However, sitting too far can also lead to neck pain. You may feel the need to lean forward to look at the finer details of your game. If you sit in that position for too long, you'll start to push your chin forward. In turn, you'll strain your neck.

Adjust the Height of Your Gaming Desk

You'll need a height-adjustable desk for this tip. So, you should adjust the height of your desk so that your elbows rest in a comfortable position. The ideal elbow placement is just above or at the same level as your wrists (when they're on the keyboard). This way, you'll be able to relax your shoulders, which can help reduce stiffness in your neck as well. In turn, you can help reduce the risk of neck pain after long hours of gaming. If you can't adjust the height of your desk, then move your chair's height to meet your needs. Just make sure that you still keep your legs and feet in the best position.

Make Sure You're Sitting Close Enough to Your Ergonomic Gaming Desk

The position of the elbows can also contribute to neck pain. If your elbows are beyond the ideal angle, i.e., 90 degrees to 120 degrees, you'll likely struggle to keep your head on your headrest. Thus, your neck will be in front of your back (i.e., not in the neutral position), resulting in strain. Note that this point does not refer to how close you're sitting to your monitor—keep that consistent. Instead, it concerns your distance from your ergonomic gaming desk, keyboard, and mouse.

It's crucial to understand that different parts of your body contribute to the ideal posture. So, getting one part wrong could lead to other problems.

Take Breaks After Every Hour of Gaming

Make it a point to take breaks when gaming. You should aim to take at least one break during an hour of gaming. Get off your seat during your breaks and walk around your home. It can also help to do some dynamic body stretches to help improve blood circulation. It will also keep your muscles active. Moving around can lead to reduced pain in your neck. Sitting in one position for long periods can increase the chances of body aches.

Esports players can plan their breaks based on when their matches end. For example, you could take a break after playing two games. You can move around while waiting in the lobby.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

It is crucial to keep yourself properly hydrated when gaming. It's not uncommon for players to get lost in their games and ignore proper hydration. Dehydration may lead to some neck stiffness, which can cause pain after some time. Consider keeping a water bottle near your desk so that you can consistently keep sipping water as you play.

Last Few Words

Now that you know how gamers can reduce neck pain, you can play your favorite games without worrying about hurting your body. If you can't afford ergonomic furniture just yet, you can make small adjustments to your existing chair or desk. For example, you could use a simple hack, such as placing books underneath your monitor stand to increase your screen height.

That said, there is an advantage to using the right tools to sit with good posture and limit body aches and injuries. For example, if you work from home, you can buy a gaming chair that can work well as an office chair. This way, you can help make the most of your investment, allowing you to sit comfortably for long hours.