Do gaming chairs cause bad posture? In short: No, gaming chairs are not bad for your posture.
Actually, they can be great for your back, especially if compared to cheaper office models.
The basic options in a gaming chair, a high backrest and neck pillows, are all meant to give maximum support to your back while encouraging a good posture.
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Do gaming chairs cause bad posture? Introduction
We’ve noticed that a significant number of people are uncertain as to whether they should go for a traditional office chair or perhaps choose a more flamboyant gaming chair, with all its added qualities…
We believe that even if you’re not a gamer, there are a few reasons why you should still go for a gaming chair!
Especially if you suffer from lower neck and back pain. As they say, the devil’s in the detail, so read on.
4 Reasons that gaming chairs are much better than workplace chairs
We can see you asking why a gaming chair is so much better for your back than a typical office chair.
Gaming chair vs office chair: We’ve broken it down for you and we promise it’s worth the read.
Your back will thank you for it, even if your osteopath won’t.
A high backrest
Video gaming chairs typically offer high back support.
As you can imagine, you’ll have complete support for the whole of your back, along with your head, neck, and shoulders.
Your spinal column runs the whole length of your back.
If you suffer back pain, the high backrest of a gaming chair (as opposed to a mid-back) supports your entire spine.
While office chairs usually only offer support to the lower back.
The height of the backrest for gaming chairs usually varies from 29 ″ to approximately 34 ″.
Make sure that the backrest is high enough to cover all your back.
Many backrests for gaming chairs typically feature “wings” as a purely aesthetical feature.
This is an imitation of racing safety seats meant to keep a driver in place during violent left to right movements.
If you’re bigger, find a wingless backrest or one that is spacious enough to allow you to move comfortably when sitting down.
For an overview of some of the best heavy duty gaming chairs, we would like to refer you to our all-encompassing buying guide The best gaming chair for big guys.
Lumbar Support Pillow: Do gaming chairs cause bad posture?
Almost all gaming chairs feature an external back pillow to support your lower back.
The lower spine naturally curves inwards.
Extended sitting weakens the muscles supporting the spinal column and causes slouching, and makes you lean forward in your chair.
Ultimately, the tension in the lumbar region leads to back pain.
Lumbar assistance aims to take off the pressure from these muscles and the lower back.
It likewise fills the area between your lower back and backrest to prevent you from slouching at your desk.
Just basic lumbar assistance can help you position your head and neck in a more natural position, reducing tension on your back.
Video gaming chairs use one of the most fundamental lumbar supports, either in the form of a roll or block, which are helpful for back pain.
Most of these supports boast adjustable height possibilities, letting you target the specific region of your back that requires assistance.
If you find it uncomfortable, don’t worry! You can remove it.
Detachable lumbar pillows are usually a feature on gaming chairs, and you can make a change if you’re not feeling it is comfortable enough. Office chairs rarely offer this.
You might need to invest in curved support for pronounced neck and back pain or find one with a cutout for the lower back pelvic tissue.
Robust backrest recline
Full reclining and tilting are perhaps the features that most distinguish a gaming chair from its more sedate cousin, and that’s nothing but good news for your back.
Even for less than $150, a gaming chair lets you tilt, rock, and recline the backrest by around 140 degrees (some go so far as to be nearly flat).
Office chairs at the same price generally offer a mid-backrest that only gives approximately 20 degrees.
A strong reclining feature is essential for relieving spine pressure.
Let’s put that into perspective: A seated position with a reclined angle of 130-140 ° puts the least amount of pressure on the back.
With practically all gaming chairs, you can recline to a good angle.
If you’re looking for this in an office chair, you’ll have to settle for something at the high end of the market.
At this point, we’d like to make sure that you don’t confuse reclining with slouching.
When slouching, your whole body slides forward, resulting in compression of the neck, chest and lower back.
As you can imagine, there is nothing worse for back pain. It hurts just to describe it.
Chairs with rigid backrests that do not recline will encourage slouching and thus bad posture. Why? Simple.
To minimize pressure on your back, you’ll have to slide forward, adding pressure instead of reducing it.
External Neck Pillow
Most gaming chairs offer an external neck pillow that does a great job supporting your neck. This is particularly the case in a reclined position.
In turn, your shoulders and upper back are more relaxed.
The neck pillow on a video gaming chair fits right in the curvature of your cervical spinal column. And remember, all of them are height adjustable!
Therefore, you can lean back while still preserving your spinal column’s natural positioning and neutral posture.
Having said that, certain office chairs offer neck support as a separate component. This component is both height and angle adjustable and gives fantastic neck support.
Still, the spine support that you see in gaming chairs remains your best ergonomic choice.
Choose a gaming chair with a neck pillow and straps that go through the cutout in the headrest.
Like this, you can adjust the pillow to the optimal height needed.
Do gaming chairs cause bad posture? Conclusion
At the end of the day, the gaming chair of your choice will not make you the top gamer in your category.
It will, however, protect your back, and encourage good posture. And it will lessen the possibility of back and neck pain, allowing you to play more.
If you compare the budget needed for a basic gaming chair and a top-of-the-range office chair, just to satisfy the same requirements, you’ll undoubtedly find that gaming chairs are more ergonomic and comfortable.
And you’ll be happy with your gaming chair investment!
Final tip: Read our related article Are gaming chairs more comfortable than office chairs? for more insights and detailed information.