If you work behind a desk for 8 to 9 hours each day, by the end of the week, you’ll have spent almost 25% of those hours in your office chair. Although most office chairs are designed to be fairly comfortable, they really aren’t that adjustable. Desks are completely fixed, making your chair the only thing that you can change to keep from becoming uncomfortable. One newer trend in furniture is a gaming chair. These chairs were designed for gamers, people who spend hours in front of their computer. There’s no reason that you can’t take this technology into your office.
The foundation of competitive computer gaming began in the 1950s. It wasn’t until 1972 that the first digital eSports tournament was held, sponsored by Stanford University. As technology advanced over the next few decades, computer gaming would go pro. Today, according to a report by CBS, gamers can spend 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week in front of the screen, training much like top athletes. Sitting in uncomfortable positions leads to muscle fatigue and soreness. The market demanded comfortable chairs that could handle the stress. In 2006, a company that manufactured seats for luxury sports cars brought gaming chairs to the marketplace. The chairs were a hit, so much so that many more manufacturers jumped into the game.
There are no real rules for gaming chairs when it comes to design. Because the early chairs were designed from racing seats, most gaming chairs have a bucket design. This keeps you from moving from side to side. The seat may be raised. Adjustable lumbar and neck pillows are generally included. The back will be higher than an office chair, with a fixed headrest to cradle the back and neck. The gaming chair will have more reclining positions with adjustable armrests, too. All of these features work together for better ergonomics. The chairs are designed for comfort and physical well-being. Another difference you may notice is that gaming chairs tend to be flashier than office chairs, but this is simply a style difference.
Ergonomics is the study of efficiency in the working environment. Gaming may not seem like a working environment, but pro gamers can bank money doing it. To make these gamers more efficient, the gaming chair offers many benefits.
- Fewer neck and back problems – having the ability to adjust a chair for maximum comfort is a huge game changer.
- Improved posture – the adjustability of a gaming chair ensures your spine stays straight while sitting to decrease injuries and improve posture.
- Optimum adjustments – being able to adapt the arm rests, back rest, head rest and more lets each person find the most support for their body
- Firmness – good gaming chairs are firm, to support the body. Although it feels good to sink into soft material, when you sit too long in a soft bed, your muscles become more tired.
- Made of cooling materials – gaming can be stressful, which changes your body temperature. Quality gaming chairs are made of materials that help regulate temperature.
According to OSHA, work-related musculoskeletal disorders account for about one-third of all worker injuries. MSDs affect your muscles, joints, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons. If you have muscle strains, low back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis, work could be a culprit. Sitting at a desk all day makes your muscles sore. When you have poor posture or perform repetitive tasks, you can easily injure yourself, leading to lower productivity and more errors. Having the right equipment, a quality chair, can be the difference between going home and enjoying the evening or going home to recover from poor sitting posture only to do it all over again the next day.
A well-performing chair that adjusts to your comfort and improves your work isn’t just about performance. It’s about health and safety. Human resources are the most important asset to any company. If you work more effectively because you’re more comfortable, it’s a small price to pay. Consider a gaming chair for your office as part of your commitment to your safety and health.