Last Updated on August 3, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas
Gaming chairs can be good for your back if used correctly. They offer ergonomic support and adjustable features that promote better posture during gaming sessions. However, extended use without breaks can still lead to back issues. Regular breaks and proper posture are essential for overall back health.
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Are Gaming Chairs Good For Your Back?
Gaming chairs have become increasingly popular among gamers and tech enthusiasts. While they are designed to offer comfort during long gaming sessions, there is often confusion regarding their impact on our back health. In this article, we will debunk the myths surrounding gaming chairs and provide an informed perspective on whether they are actually good for your back.
- Ergonomic Design:
One of the key features of gaming chairs is their ergonomic design. These chairs are specifically engineered to support the natural curvature of your spine while providing proper lumbar and neck support. This design ensures that your back maintains a healthy posture, minimizing the risk of strain or discomfort during extended gaming sessions.
- Adjustable Features:
Unlike traditional office chairs, gaming chairs usually come with a range of adjustable features. You can modify the height, angle, and even the armrests of the chair to suit your individual comfort needs. This level of customization allows you to find the ideal position for your back, reducing stress on the spine and promoting better posture.
- Improved Blood Circulation:
Sitting for long periods can impede blood circulation, leading to discomfort and potential health problems. Gaming chairs often feature a high-density foam padding that evenly distributes your weight. This helps to reduce pressure points and improve blood circulation, preventing numbness and tingling sensations in your back and legs.
- Lumbar Support:
One of the most important aspects of a gaming chair is its built-in lumbar support system. This feature provides additional support for the lower back, helping to maintain the natural S-curve of your spine. By reducing the strain on your lumbar vertebrae, gaming chairs can help alleviate back pain and promote proper alignment.
- Long-Term Health Benefits:
Investing in a gaming chair can have long-term benefits for your back health. By maintaining proper posture during gaming sessions, gaming chairs can help prevent the development of chronic conditions such as spinal misalignment, herniated discs, and sciatica. Additionally, by promoting good posture, these chairs can also contribute to a healthier overall lifestyle.
Contrary to common misconceptions, gaming chairs can actually be good for your back. With their ergonomic design, adjustable features, and emphasis on proper lumbar support, these chairs are designed to provide comfort and promote good posture during long gaming sessions.
However, it’s worth noting that no chair can replace the importance of regular breaks and overall healthy habits. So, while using a gaming chair can contribute positively to your back health, remember to take breaks, stretch, and engage in other physical activities to maintain a balanced lifestyle.
Why Do You Experience Back Pains?
Poor sitting postures combined with prolonged sitting hours will contribute to backaches. When one sits for long, you exert a lot of pressure on your spine more than when standing. Your blood circulation is also reduced, which will eventually contribute to developing back pains. A chair that allows you to sit in a reclined posture will help reduce the amount of pressure exerted on your back and minimize back pains.
Let’s compare gaming chairs with ordinary office chairs to help you choose between the two;
Differences Between Ordinary Office Seats And Gaming Chairs
|Gaming Chair||Normal Office Chair|
|Has a fixed headrest||No headrest or comes as a separate piece.|
|A backrest that is often winged||A wingless backrest|
|A bucket seat pan||Flat seat|
|A high-level backrest recline||A none to high backrest recline|
|Slightly raised seat edge.||A sloping edge|
|A detachable pillow for lumbar support||Has a self-adjusting, fixed, or detachable lumbar support|
|Armrests are usually 3D or better.||Its armrests are 2D or better.|
|Has flashy colors and aesthetics design||Muted styles and colors|
Depending on the design, some gaming chairs may work well for you while others will not. Gaming chairs are great for your back, especially those with a high backrest and neck pillow. Such chairs encourage a good posture and also provide maximum support for your back.
Important Features Of A Good Gaming Chair
A gaming chair ought to have some necessary features for it to be useful for your back support that include;
Strong Backrest Recline
A robust backrest recline is among the most important features that define a good gaming chair. This feature gives you back a robust reclining and tilting. A perfect gaming chair should allow you to rock, tilt, and recline the backrest above 135-degrees or even near 180 degrees horizontal. A strong recline in a chair helps to relieve spinal pressure. When you sit with a backrest reclined at an angle of 135 degrees, your back experiences the lowest amount of strain, which prevents back pains.
An office chair whose backrest doesn’t recline may encourage slouching (the entire body sliding forward and compressing the neck, lower back, and chest).
A High Backrest
Most gaming chairs come with a tall backrest that helps to provide total support to your entire back, neck, head, and shoulders. A human spine (vertebral column) covers your entire back length. A high backrest goes a long way to relieving back pains. It supports the entire column when you sit compared to a lower backrest, as is the case with most office chairs.
An ideal gaming chair needs a backrest whose range is 30 inches to 33 inches, but it also has to cover your whole torso.
A Detachable Neck Pillow
Nearly all gaming chairs come with a detachable pillow for neck support, especially when one is reclining. This item helps to relax the upper back and shoulders. A neck pillow’s height is designed to be adjustable, and so it fits in the curvature of your vertebral column allowing you to lean back while maintaining the neutral posture and natural alignment of your spine.
You can look for a gaming chair with neck straps that will match the cutout in the headrest. Such an item will let you move it up and down where you need the support.
An External Lumbar Support Pillow
Most gaming chairs come with a detachable lumbar support pillow that provides support to the lower back. While some may be better than others, they are all necessary for your lower back. Our vertebral columns have a natural inward curve and long sitting hours strain the muscles holding the spine in this position.
When the muscles holding the spine in the right alignment tire out, it leads to slouching and forward-leaning, which eventually stresses the lumbar region. Stressed muscles may cause severe back pains. A lumbar support pillow minimizes your lower back and muscles’ burden and eliminates the gap between the backrest and your lower back. It, therefore, prevents slouching while working or gaming.
A lumbar support tool (however basic) helps the neck and head maintain the perfect posture and, in return, reduces stress on your back. Gaming chairs provide basic support in the form of a roll or a block, but they are beneficial to the back in two ways;
1. Most of their height is adjustable by pulling the straps, allowing you to target the exact part that requires support.
2. You can remove them when they get uncomfortable and replace them with a third-party lumbar pillow. If you have a back pain problem, you can look for an item with a cutout or curve to help the posterior pelvic tissues.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Gaming Seat For Your Back
Gaming chairs are specifically designed to help with back pain. However, there are some specifications that you need to look at when purchasing one. Ensure that the piece of furniture has dimensions that fit your body perfectly since improper measurements may lead to more back and neck pain. Below are some factors to consider;
Ensure that you check the height of the backrest to ensure that it is compatible with your upper body’s length. The neck pillow needs to be properly located, and it should have the right height adjustments. For an average-height person (5 feet, 3-inches to 6 feet,3-inches), the backrest height should range between 30-inches to 33-inches. For those below 5-feet, 3-inches, a backrest below 30-inches is ideal. A person above 6-feet, 3-inches requires a backrest that is higher than 33-inches.
The Chair’s Dimensions
Proper seat dimensions are necessary since they ensure your lower back relaxes well against the backrest. The right measurements also allow enough gap between the end of your thighs and the chair’s edge. Your seat’s pan should also not be too long or too short as this may block the air circulation to your thigh’s end. For guidance, if you are 5-feet and 3-inches tall, go for a seat depth of 18-inches or below. But, if you are 6-feet and 5-inches tall, then a depth of 20.5-inches will be ideal.
Your seat’s width is also a crucial factor to consider to ensure that the edge does not pierce your thighs. When measuring the width, pay attention to the usable dimension, which excludes the side bolsters. If you are above 250lbs, go for a usable seat of 16-inches and above.
Your chair’s armrest may seem not to have any direct connection with back pains. However, it is necessary to note that the hands and arms together contribute nearly 10% of the total body weight. A gaming chair with 3D or 4D armrests can support your arms in various positions hence removing pressure from your shoulders. As a result, your back bears less weight from the upper body reducing back pain.
You can consider a gaming chair whose arms pivot inwards and provide support to your arms when using a computer. Armrests whose length can be adjusted will support your arms when reclining since your upper body parts shift backward.
Your Seat’s Height
When choosing a chair, it is necessary to ensure that its height allows your feet to completely touch the floor when you bend your knees at an angle of 90-degrees. If your feet dangle off the floor due to the seat’s height, it may lead to some pressure buildup under your thighs. On the other hand, a short chair may force you to extend your legs or flex your knees. Such a position of the legs may exert great pressure on your thighs and hips.
The Chair’s Angle Lock
A seat angle lock in a gaming chair helps with back pains as it allows you to work well in a heavily reclined posture. This feature also helps you lock the seat’s angle when your backrest so that the chairs remain pointing upward even when you stop applying back pressure.
A seat angle lock (mostly found in high-end gaming chairs) reduces spinal pressure, reducing back pain.
While using a gaming chair may not bring you the victory that you desire in a game, it protects your back from pain by enhancing a proper posture. It also minimizes the risk of getting neck and spinal pain. Unlike ordinary office seats, gaming chairs are more comfortable and ergonomic and worth the investment.
Emma is a graduate of Domestic Science or Family and Consumer Sciences (Home Economics) from the University of Wisconsin. She has 7 years of experience Working with the strategic section of BestBuy and now writing full-time for Homeeon.
From Managing the Home, Interiors, Cleaning, and Exteriors to Gardening and everything about Making A Home Liveable – is her passion and this Homeeon is the result of this.
Emma loves decorating her home with the best stuff found online. She cares about quality over anything and writes reviews about them here in Homeeon. Get in touch with her over Pinterest.
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