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The A to Z of Gaming Ergonomics for Gaming Enthusiasts

17 August 2023

If you're an avid gamer, you'll very well understand how quickly time seems to pass when you're gaming. It feels like it's morning when you start playing your first game of the day, and the next thing you know, it's already evening! Gaming is pretty addictive, and you can't stop, especially when you're on a gaming streak.

Spending several hours of your day playing computer games means sitting in the same posture for many hours at a stretch. This puts you at risk of developing posture-related health conditions like musculoskeletal disorders and repetitive strain injuries. Most gamers aren't very conscious about their posture, and that's what increases the chances of them developing posture-related injuries and disorders in the long run.

If you spend a lot of time on the computer playing games but have never given any real thought to your posture or the ergonomics of your gaming room, its high time you do it now! This blog post talks about everything a gamer would benefit from knowing. Let's get going and make the time you spend on your computer safer for you!

How Do Poor Gaming Ergonomics Affect You?

If your gaming setup isn't ergonomics-friendly, you risk numerous health conditions. If you don't address these risks in time, you may end up developing lifelong disabilities, which may come in the way of your passion for gaming.

Below are the many ways in which poor PC gaming ergonomics can (and do) affect you:

High Risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders

If you aren't sitting in the correct posture while playing your favorite PC games, you're at high risk of posture-related musculoskeletal disorders. Sitting in an incorrect posture for long hours in a routine stresses the muscles, bones, tendons, and joints of different body parts, especially in the shoulder, neck, back, and hip region. Prolonged stress in these regions results in fatigue and pain. Persistent stress can lead to injuries as well. Moreover, excessive strain on the spine can also result in the compression of nerves, and this condition can be extremely painful, enough to limit you to your bed!

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Another major risk of excessive PC gaming in poor ergonomic conditions is repetitive strain injuries. These injuries result in continuous repetitive movements like pressing the keys on the keyboard or mouse. As for gamers, these are the primary movements that enable them to carry out various actions during a game. Pressing on the keyboard keys and mouse buttons puts strain on the finger joints and can also lead to the compression of the median nerve passing through the wrist. The result is pain, numbness, or tingling sensation in the fingers, and in worse cases, the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Poor Spine Alignment

Sitting with your back curved and your body hunched forward (like most gamers sit while they play) puts stress on your spine. Sitting like this for long hours and that, too, routinely can result in the misalignment of the spine. The spine is naturally curved for an "S" shape, and if the natural curvature of the spine gets altered, it can lead to chronic back pain, which requires extensive physiotherapy. Not to mention, having a misaligned spine will impair your ability to sit and play PC games.

Eye Strain

Have you ever paid conscious attention to yourself when engaged in a game? We doubt that because you're so engrossed in the game you don't know there's so much that you're at risk of. One of the most common (and the biggest) mistakes gamers make is not taking breaks in between. They sit with their eyes fixated on the computer screen. This puts excessive eye strain, which not only becomes the reason for persistent headaches but can also result in blurred vision and even weakening of eyesight.

Most gamers complain about shoulder and back pain and often feel their fingers stiffening after a long gaming session, but not many give much thought to why they experience it. Well, now you know – it’s because of poor gaming ergonomics.

How Can You Improve the Ergonomics of Your Gaming Setup?

Most gaming-related health conditions can be avoided if you improve the ergonomics of your gaming station. Since most of the risks are more or less linked to poor gaming ergonomics, you can make the time you spend playing PC games safer by mitigating the risks.

This section discusses how you can improve the ergonomics of your gaming setup and significantly reduce the risk of gaming-related health conditions.

Invest in an Ergonomic Gaming Chair

The most promising way of improving the ergonomics of your gaming setup is to invest in a good gaming chair. Since your chair is what you use to sit in throughout the time you're playing PC games, it has got to be comfortable!

Most gamers get carried away by the super-cool aesthetics of gaming chairs and end up buying the wrong chair. While aesthetics is important, it isn't the most important.

It would be best if you looked for a gaming chair that offers excellent comfort and superior support to your body. When you buy a gaming chair, sit on the chair and try out the various adjustment features when you visit the market.

The right ergonomic gaming chair like the Standard Gaming Chair (GC2) will allow you to adjust the chair's height so that your feet are placed comfortably flat on the floor. Not only should you be able to adjust the height, you should also be able to adjust the height of the armrests so that your elbows and arms are fully supported while you game your heart out. Another important feature of a gaming chair is the backrest and headrest. The chair should offer superior support to the back and head so that your shoulders or back don't get stiff from sitting in an incorrect posture. Above all, make sure that when you're sitting in the correct posture on a gaming chair, you should be comfortable.

One of the most important features to look for in a gaming chair is lumbar support. Most of the chairs have a curved backrest to match the natural curvature of the spine, but not many offer support to the lower back and are often left unsupported with a gap between the lower back and backrest. Chairs with lumbar support also provide support to the lower back and reduce pressure, thereby reducing the risk of posture-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Install Adjustable Monitor Mount

The correct placement of the computer monitor is extremely important to ensure good gaming ergonomics. The monitor should be placed at the right height, distance, and angle so that you don't have to tilt, lift, or bend your neck at awkward angles. Doing so puts strain on the neck and results in neck pain and even neck injuries.

Installing an adjustable monitor mount helps mitigate this risk. An adjustable monitor mount enables the users to adjust the monitor's height, distance, and angle so that the monitor is at eye level, at an arm's length distance, and right in front of the user.

Using a height-adjustable ergonomic gaming desk can also help you get the right height for the computer monitor, but you still need an adjustable monitor mount to adjust the distance and angle.

Invest in a Gaming Monitor

While you can use a regular monitor for gaming, it's not recommended, especially if you spend several hours a day sitting in front of your computer screen. Computer monitors reduce eye strain effectively and help prevent eye problems related to excessive glare from the computer.

Gaming monitors have anti-flickering and low blue-light technology. These features reduce the low light levels, which are associated with a sharp flashing of lights that can lead to eye strain. These monitors are equipped with more light sources, which prevent glare-related eye problems. Regular monitors flicker between adjustments of brightness which isn't good for your eyes. Gaming monitors are different and much better options for this very reason!

Replace Your Keyboard and Mouse

Using a regular keyboard and mouse isn't the best practice for gamers. Since you use your hands non-stop during gaming, you've got to make sure you aren't putting any stress on your fingers and wrists. For this reason, you should consider replacing your keyboard and mouse with ergonomic varieties.

Ergonomic gaming keyboards feature a unique design that enables gamers to play with their hands in the neutral position (where the hands aren't bent at the wrists and fingers aren't raised awkwardly). Not only this, the keys of a gaming keyboard are much softer so that the user doesn't have to hit the keys too hard.

Similar is the case with ergonomic mice. Ergonomic mice are available in different designs, so gamers with different playstyles can find a mouse to suit their style. The buttons of a gaming mouse are much softer and more sensitive, so you don't have to move the mouse too aggressively or press the buttons too hard.

Using a gaming keyboard and mouse significantly reduces the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Closing Word

You can play your favorite games in peace, knowing that you aren't at risk of health conditions if your gaming setup is ergonomically designed. It does require a lot of investment, but you would rather spend your money setting up an ergonomic gaming station than paying the doctor, right?