Almost everyone spends the largest part of their day in a sitting position. This sedentary lifestyle leads to several ailments. Sitting for long periods of time puts a lot more strain on your body than you may know. Unfortunately, you often only feel these effects when it is too late.
Prolonged sitting not only leads to complaints of the back, especially in the neck and lumbar area but also triggers a whole chain of events in the body.
In addition to direct effects such as beginning to feel uncomfortable, loss of concentration, and a decrease in productivity and gaming performance, the long-term physical consequences can affect health in years to come. A good ergonomic chair in which you sit comfortably is an essential part of every workstation or gaming setup.
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the scientific discipline of adapting and arranging products, systems, and workplaces so they can be adjusted and complement to the individual user’s requirements.
In other words: One should not adapt to the device, the workplace, or the workflow, but the device or the workplace should be adapted to the individual requirements of the user.
What Is An Ergonomic Workspace?
When it comes to the ergonomic design of workplaces, the general understanding is usually primarily about physical stress. The human body with all its joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue can be burdened by excessive demands as well as incorrect posture and stress. Back problems are the most common consequence.
Long-lasting, static work, such as computer work at the desk, can be made much easier with the help of ergonomically designed seating furniture. In addition to ergonomic chairs, the whole workplace setup should be designed considering ergonomic features. This includes work equipment such as computer hardware, the viewing distance to the screen, enough space to move, sufficient lighting, and reduction of noise.
In such an ergonomic work environment, you will feel better, less stressed out, and less tired. This will be noticeable in increase creativity and productivity and gaming performance.
What are the advantages of ergonomics?
One of the major advantages of quality ergonomically designed chairs is that you simply get a lot better through the day with much less discomfort caused by sitting. That simple fact makes all the difference, you will feel more relaxed, have less unwanted tensions in your back, and even after many hours, you are still sitting in a proper sitting posture.
What is all this good for?
Ergonomic chairs and ergonomically designed workplaces have a number of benefits
- Provide more comfort sitting throughout the day
- Increase motivation and efficiency
- Fewer back problems and thus less sick time
- Higher productivity and gaming performance
How does ergonomic sitting work?
Correct, healthy sitting has to be learned. The body and the spine naturally want to assume an ergonomically favorable posture. Bad furniture in combination with long sitting, leads to fatigue and consequently to poor posture when sitting.
Sitting correctly means sitting dynamically
In a monotonous sitting posture, the core muscles are constantly working hard. In order to avoid excessive muscle strain and fatigue and consequently loss of posture, it is important to change the sitting position frequently to ensure alternating stress. Getting up regularly, walking up and down a few steps, moving your arms, stretching, all of this is part of dynamic sitting.
Dynamic sitting – this is how ergonomic sitting works
Dynamic sitting simply means that you frequently move and shift your weight by taking up a different sitting position in your chair.
When sitting dynamically, moving back and forth in the chair, not only prevents one-sided strain, it also trains the supporting muscles in your back. The movement ensures blood flow to the muscles and the intervertebral discs this ensures a regular supply of nutrients and the removal of waste products.
Movement prevents muscular imbalances and prevents muscles from shrinking or being too weak for good posture.
Modern ergonomic chairs are equipped with special chair mechanics that promote dynamic sitting and thus contribute significantly to a healthier sitting posture.
Recap the benefits of dynamic Sitting
- Relief of the muscles and intervertebral discs
- Natural strengthening of the core muscles through tension and relaxation
- Stimulation of the metabolism and internal organs
- Provides blood flow to the muscles and tissues
- Promotion of the nutrient supply to muscles, tissues, and discs
- Prevention of incorrect strain on the muscles and postural disorders
- Improvement of concentration and performance
- Improves general physical well-being
Dynamic Sitting – What To Do?
How should dynamic sitting be implemented? Dynamic sitting means changing your sitting position as often as possible. However, you should make sure that you always sit in proper posture and not in awkward positions. Getting up and standing up for a while can also be part of dynamic sitting.
- Change sitting posture regularly, the more often the better
- Work alternately while sitting and standing
- Take breaks regularly, move around do some stretching and exercises
- Individually set up your desk and workstation to be as ergonomic as possible
- Most importantly – sit in a quality ergonomically designed chair
How to set up ergonomic gaming or workspace?
Ideally, everything should be set up comfortably and conveniently. Everything has to be easily accessible without great effort. Convenience needs to be the main focus when setting up an ergonomic workstation. If done right you will have some amazing results that make spending time in front of your computer much less strenuous.
Setting up an ergonomic workplace begins with the chair
- Adjust seat height
- Set the seat angle and depth
- Properly set the angle the backrest
- Adjust the height of the armrests
The seat is at the correct height when the thighs and lower legs are at right angles to each other and both feet are flat on the floor next to each other. When sitting, the entire seat surface should be occupied, there should be an inch of space between the inside of the knee and the edge of the seat. The backrest needs to be adjusted so the back is kept in an upright position and supported from the pelvic area to the shoulder blades. The armrest’s height is correct when the upper arm and forearm form a right angle.
Set up the desk ergonomically
The armrests and desk should be at the same height. Adjust the desk height accordingly. If the desk is too low, it forces you to lean forward and puts the spine in an unnatural curve. If the table is set too high, the shoulders ar pushed upwards which leads to tension in the shoulder-neck area.
The correct screen height is important
A standard size screen should be about arm’s length from the user. In the case of oversized or multiple screens, the distance can be a little further depending on how big the screens are. Screen height, the top third of the screen should be about at the height of the user’s eye level.
Screen work can be very demanding on the eyes. Staring at a monitor can reduce the eye blink rates and cause dry eyes. The result can be burning and itchy eyes, the so-called “office eye syndrome” or “Computer Vision Syndrome” (CVS). The symptoms should be observed and not taken lightly, if ignored permanently this can lead to permanent damage to the eyes.
With help from ergonomics, you can really make sure that you feel great and that there are fewer computer-related problems. This can be achieved with a good ergonomic chair and a well-thought-out ergonomic setup. It pays on getting the best ergonomic chair that you can afford.
How esports gamers benefit from ergonomic chairs?
Ergonomic gaming chairs are especially important for gamers and esports fans. It’s too easy to forget the time when you’re lost in virtual worlds and before you know it, you’ve been sitting for too many hours without having gotten up once. When you then get up, you can tell whether you have sat in a good chair or a bad chair. A good chair specially designed for gamers may reduce physical fatigue and can help to maintain concentration and gaming performance.
Is ergonomics worth the extra investment?
Good, healthy sitting and working in an ergonomic environment at the computer desk reduces the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle and significantly increases physical well-being.
Monotonous long-lasting posture not only leads to a shutdown of the body and muscles but also to less brain activity and a decrease in concentration and mental performance.
Moving regularly and changing your posture (dynamic sitting) improves the blood circulation in your body. Your muscles, intervertebral discs, internal organs, and especially the brain are better supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
This leads to noticeably more energy so that you stay fit longer! The result is a better mood and less stress and a general improvement in physical well-being.
So what ‘better – gaming chair or office chair?
The old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” also applies to ergonomic seating furniture. So it doesn’t matter what is on the outside and what it looks like, but what is hidden inside.
The ergonomics of a chair and not its design are crucial for relaxed and comfortable gaming. In the best case, you will find a chair that combines both. There are definitely good gaming chairs with good ergonomic features, just like there are ergonomic office chairs with a sporty and elegant design.
One must admit, however, that most “classic” office chairs place more emphasis on ergonomics than many of the cheaper gaming chairs.
More to read about Ergonomics:
United States Department Of Labour: https://www.osha.gov/ergonomics
Tips for a good gaming posture: https://esportshealthcare.com/gaming-posture/