Have you taken the time to study your new gaming chair with all its functions and actually adjusted it to your needs? A good gaming chair or office chair can only fulfill its purpose if it is used correctly. Prior to use, individual height adjustment of chair and desk must be done, to allow a healthy sitting posture in an ergonomic work environment.
- Most important for a correct posture is the right chair size. This Chair Size Guide can help you narrow down the search.
If you sit in a gaming chair that has the right size, then:
- Adjust the seat height, feet are flat on the ground while your knees form a 90 degrees angle
- Adjust the backrest and the lumbar support
- Set the armrest height, your arms rest relaxed without lifting your shoulders
- Correctly adjust the desk height – upper arms and forearms are at a right angle (90 degrees) and forearms and hands are in line with the desk surface
Correctly adjusting the chair
A gaming chair or office chair needs to be adjusted to the individual occupant bodily dimensions. For best ergonomic sitting work your way up.
- Set the chair height
- seat depth and tilt
- adjust armrests
- and adjust the backrest
When the chair is properly set, then continue with desk hight and screen positioning.
The right seat height
The height of the chair depends on the length of the lower leg. While the feet are flat on the ground, the upper and lower legs should form an angle larger than 90 degrees in the knee. Depending on comfort, the angle may be even larger so that your thigh forms a sloping line to the knee, the knees are lower than your hips.
Important is that you always have good contact with both the feet to the floor. Your upper body and your thighs should also be at an angle of no less than 90 degrees when your back leans against the backrest. When chairs are set too low or too high, unnecessary muscle tension, strain in the back, instability and back pain are the consequence.
Seat tilt adjustment
Good chairs need to have a seat tilt adjustment which allows the seat pan to be slightly tilted forward. This will bring your pelvis slightly forward, promoting a healthy sitting posture your spine favors.
The correct seat depth, the length of the seat from the front edge to the backrest, is determined by the length of your thighs. Between the seat edge and the calf should be a gap of about two to four-finger wide, while your pelvis and back have contact with the backrest. It is important to avoid that the edge of the chair pressing into the back of your calves as this could restrict blood circulation in the legs.
Adjust the backrest and back tilt
Next, adjust the lumbar support so the lumbar cushion feels comfortable in the curve of your lower back. It may need some time to get used to the slight pressure in your lumbar area.
Adjust the back tilt so you sit in an upright posture. A slight pressure from the backrest supporting the natural curve of your backbone should put your head above your pelvis.
Armrests are very helpful as they relieve shoulder, neck and upper back from the weight of the arms. Correctly adjusted in height, the armrest will have the forearms rest relaxed, while the shoulders are neither pulled up nor fall down. The angle between the upper and lower arm should be 90 degrees. The armrests and the desktop should line up.
Good chairs have armrests that can also be adjusted sideways. If this is the case, they are meant to be adjusted according to the width of the shoulder girdle of the chair occupant. When properly adjusted both arms should be in a natural position while resting on the armrest without being pushed outward or pushed against the torso.
Desk hight and Screen Positioning
Desk Height – So that everything is perfect, the desk height must be adjusted so that the upper and lower arms form a right angle, while the forearms lie horizontally on the table.
Screen Height – To minimize the strain on the shoulder and neck areas, the screen must be aligned so that the eyes are approximately level with the upper third of the screen
The backrest supports the spine
When you sit in a gaming chair or any chair for that matter, you want to keep the spine in a natural position similar to when standing upright. To achieve this when sitting the contact between the back and the backrest is very important.
The backrest should not only provide ergonomic support but also be comfortable. This is achieved by designing the backrest to follow the curvature of the spine. In the lower backrest is the so-called lordosis support. A protruding cushion which supports the lumbar region, an area where back problems often start. This lordosis support may be unusual or even uncomfortable when someone sits for the first time in a good ergonomic chair. After a couple of days sitting, one will get used to the healthier sitting posture.
Top gaming chairs will allow adjusting the protrusion of the lumbar support as well as the height of it.
A height and tilt adjustable head and neck support offers additional support and relieves the shoulder and neck area. When in an upright working posture the head and neck support will only be of little benefit. This will change however the moment you tilt backward in your chair. Be it just to relax a bit or looking at your monitor a headrest will provide your head and neck area with support and allow muscles and tendons to relax.
Synchronous Tilt Mechanics vs. Asynchronous Tilt mechanics – advantages and disadvantages
Among the types of tilt mechanisms, there are two popular types of it to adjust the angle of inclination between seat and backrest
Synchronous tilt mechanism
The synchronous mechanism couples the inclination of the backrest with the inclination of the seat. When the chair occupant leans back, the inclination of the seat pan changes at the same time.
Asynchronous tilt mechanism
In the asynchronous tilt mechanism, however, the inclination angle of the backrest and seat are adjusted separately. Depending on the activity, the sitting posture can be customized by the chair occupant.
Ergonomic sitting at the desk
Get the best chair you can afford, don’t buy the cheapest. After the chair is set and properly adjusted, the desk, as well as the monitor, needs to be adjusted too.
- The height of the gaming desk should line with the top of the armrests, so arms may rest partly on the table, partly on the armrests. Modern quality desks are always height adjustable.
- Adjust your computer monitor so its height is in line with your visual axis and its distance to your eyes is that of your arm’s length.
- The keyboard and mouse should be placed about one hand wide from the edge of the desk.
But remember, even having the most ergonomic workplace or gaming set up, it is important to take regular breaks, to get up and move and stretch to avoid health problems related to extended sitting.