To use a desk in the healthiest and most comfortable way, you will need a chair that offers both comfort and support.
However, there are so many options from ergonomic office chairs to gaming chairs and it is difficult to know the difference between these categories.
This article will provide the answers you need to make an educated buying decision.
What is an Ergonomic Chair?
Ergonomic chairs are designed to provide adequate support and substantial comfort. Since every person has different measurements and ergonomic requirements, ergonomic chairs will typically be adjustable in a number of ways.
The seat height should be adjustable so that the feet rest flat on the floor when your knees are positioned at a height slightly lower than your hips. In addition, the seat depth is adjustable to provide leg and knee support.
An ergonomic chair should provide good lumbar support which means that the backrest is adjustable as well. Many options even have an adjustment for the back angle on the chair and a tension adjustment for the tilt of the chair. Some chairs even have the ability for users to adjust the pressure of the lumbar support.
Ergonomic chairs typically have arm support as well. The arms of the chair can adjust to your height and arm length. In addition, they are often padded for comfort. All of this allows you to change position and have a chair that fits your body and needs throughout the day.
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What are the Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs?
There are lots of benefits to ergonomic chairs in the workplace. They can reduce back pain because they are comfortable and supportive of the back. In addition, they encourage good posture.
Lower back pain is a common issue. Ergonomic chairs have a design that is made for the natural curve of a person’s spine. They also have tall backrests and headrests that support good posture and support for the entire back and neck.
In addition, traditional chairs often put excessive pressure on the user's hips. This can lead to aches and pains in the hips, legs, and lower back. An ergonomic chair reduces that pain by providing comfort, padding, and support for the hips and surrounding areas. This, in turn, will reduce the stress and pressure on the area.
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Ergonomic chairs can also improve blood flow and circulation. Allowing the legs to be properly positioned with your back straight can increase the circulation in the legs. This can prevent them from swelling and going numb. It may even help to prevent blood clots in the legs.
A well-made ergonomic chair may even help to improve your productivity. Being comfortable makes you more happy and happiness can lead to more focused work. You may be less distracted from aches and pains and your work quality may even improve as your output increases.
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What are Gaming Chairs?
Gaming chairs are any type of chair that is designed for gaming, typically for long sessions. Even though there are a few different types of gaming chairs and their functions and components are different, there are some commonalities between the types (although you can find gaming chairs that only have some of the components.)
A lot of gaming chairs have bucket seats with raised front lips. This design option gives a unique feel and aesthetic and many gamers like the feel of this type of chair when they play games. This is especially true of racing games because the bucket seat contributes to the immersive experience.
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Unlike ergonomic chairs, many gaming chair options have a fixed headrest. This may be comfortable, but is usually not as supportive for working because it is often in a more relaxed position.
One of the best things about gaming chairs is their detachable lumbar support and head pillows. Research shows that this feature can reduce back pain. They often also have winged backrests and a higher level of back recline than traditional office chairs, but this still might not be as much as some ergonomic chair options.
Finally, ergonomic chairs, particularly those for the office are usually not flashy or stylized. Gaming chairs, on the other hand, often come in different colors with aesthetically pleasing designs. In addition, there are some gaming chairs that are also ergonomically designed.
Why are gaming chairs so expensive?
There are several reasons for the high price on many gaming chair options. The first is that they are designed to appeal to a niche market because they are for gamers that spend a lot of time in their chair. However, people also use gaming chairs for other reasons because of the comfort and, in some cases, the ergonomics. There are some other features that often add to the price of a gaming chair.
A lot of gaming chairs have a raised front lip which is similar to most car seats. This design limits the amount of pressure that the chair exerts on the back of the users knees and thighs. This is a great feature, but it is also found on a lot of ergonomic chairs.
Gaming chairs are often adjustable in many ways. Their adjustability is typically much greater than the average office chair, but less than an ergonomic office chair. Gaming chairs often have angle adjustment for the backrest, support pillows, and more.
When a person gets tired in a traditional office chair, they tend to slouch in an attempt to stay comfortable. A gaming chair will lean back to retain good posture. Many options also have adjustable armrests with enough support for your arms in any position. They are also designed for gaming on a keyboard, with a mouse, or with a controller while providing support where you need it.
In addition, the detachable lumbar support pillows may contribute to the rise in price. These may be good for supporting good neck and back curvature and posture. This, in turn, can reduce back pain.
All of these factors contribute to the high price tag. In addition, they also have stylistic choices that may bring the price up even more. Sometimes they are covered in high-quality materials or a few different types of materials. They are also commonly two or more colors.
Why are Gaming Chairs Bad?
There are a lot of good things about gaming chairs, but there are some negative things as well that shows that ergonomic office chairs are often the better choice. The first bad thing about gaming chairs is that you are likely paying more just to aesthetics. They often have logos, words, or multi-colored upholstery that makes the cost increase.
You may also be paying more to get a bucket seat design. This does not add any functionality. This design element means that the sides of the chair are raised. Bucket seats are not ergonomically designed and even restrict your seating space. Many options are not suitable at all for a larger person.
Compared to ergonomic chairs, gaming chairs do not have as much adjustability. Gaming chairs are more adjustable than standard office chairs, but they rarely have some of the more advanced adjustability options that ergonomic chairs possess.
Furthermore, the bucket seat design choice on many gaming chair options often makes it difficult or impossible to adjust the seat and backrest. There will be no depth adjustment for the seat or height adjustment for the backrest.
The style of many gaming chair options limits the range of motion which is important for healthy sitting. Ergonomic chairs promote and encourage movement while sitting throughout the day which is something that your typical gaming chair will not do. In fact, a bucket seat may discourage moving more than a standard, traditional office chair.
For the same price that you would pay for an ergonomic chair, not only will the ergonomic chair likely be better for your body, but it may also be higher quality. Gaming chairs are not designed in the same way that ergonomic chairs are because ergonomic chairs are specifically manufactured for health.
Gaming chairs often have lumbar pillows. This means that the backrest likely does not have any lumbar support. In addition, no matter the design of the pillow and how soft or firm it is, it will never work for everyone’s different size and needs.
What is the Point of Gaming Chairs?
Gaming chairs are specifically designed for lengthy periods of sitting. This is not the healthiest choice because a combination of standing and sitting is much healthier. They are also made to be comfortable, but are not designed with the specifics and adjustability as ergonomic chairs.
Another big point to gaming chairs is personality. They often have a lot of stylistic flare. They may also have a design that puts someone into a gaming mood and some may even feel that they increase the immersion and overall gaming experience.
They are often a better choice than traditional sitting options like regular office chairs. They allow some adjustability, have detachable lumbar support pillows, and provide more support than other options. They may be a good choice for some uses, but for long-term sitting, especially at work, the better option is an ergonomic office chair.
Are Gaming Chairs Bad for Posture?
Gaming chairs come in a few different types and some are better than others for posture and back support. It is important that you know the differences so that you do not buy a gaming chair thinking it will do more than it is designed to accommodate.
Racing gaming chairs, or PC gaming chairs, are the most common type. They are used at a desk or in front of an eye level television. They have bucket seats and tall backs. They are also commonly stylish and have a modern design. These are decent for posture because they have the high back and allow upright sitting. They usually have a backrest that can lean back which can help the user avoid slouching as well.
There are also rocker gaming chairs. These rock back and forth and have other different design elements that make them structured for comfort, but not back support. They balance at an angle and do not offer much back support and may even be bad for your back because they make it difficult to sit upright.
Floor gaming chairs are any of the gaming chair options that rest on the floor. They offer very little back support, if any. They also do not support good posture because they are not structured to do so. If you are worried about back issues or posture, then this should not be an option that you consider.
Final Thoughts on Ergonomic Chairs and Gaming Chairs
Gaming chairs are comfortable and some options offer more support and adjustment than standard office chairs. However, the healthiest option is to use an ergonomic office chair and to adjust it to suit your specific body type. There are some great chairs available and you want to be sure that you find one that will allow you to adjust the back, seat, depth, and more for improved focus and health.