Are you wondering whether to go for an ordinary office or a more elegant gaming chair? Are you also worried about whether a gaming chair will harm your back or not? If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, then this guide is for you. A gaming chair is great for you, especially if you suffer from back pains.
A gaming chair is good for your back compared to a standard office chair since it helps prevent or stop back pains. However, it is necessary to know the causes of these pains so as avoid them.
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 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 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 (entire body sliding forward and compresses 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 relieve 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-inch 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 curved 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’s 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 backpressure.
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.