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Geeky Ergonomics: A Gamer’s Guide to the Right PC Gaming Posture
On average, Americans sit for 13 hours a day.
Undoubtedly, we hardcore gamers spend most of those 13 hours in front of the computer. And we don’t regret a minute of it. However, if we’re going to spend so much of our lives following our dreams, we should at least do it in a safe and responsible way, right?
To enhance our health and extend our lives, it’s crucial we adopt an ergonomic pc gaming posture.
This article will teach you how.
What Are Ergonomics?
With society collectively spending more and more time on the computer, concerned OHSA types developed the concept of ergonomics to reduce the strain on our fragile bodies.
After all, if we’re continually getting injured, we wouldn’t be able to get as much work done.
Cynicism aside, the practice aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Alter work environments to reduce the likelihood of injury or the deterioration of the worker’s overall health.
- Customize workstations to better align with the weight and height of individual workers.
- Evolve with new technologies to create a safe work environment for years to come.
As you would expect, this multidisciplinary science was invented by private industry to protect their workers. However, as gamers, we can adopt such well-documented practices into our personal life as well.
How to Use Ergonomics for Safer Extended Gaming Sessions
Now that you’re up to date with what ergonomics are and why they’re important, let’s examine how we can use these theories to improve our everyday life.
Remember, ergonomics won’t just enhance your long-term health, but they’ll also make you as comfortable as possible to help you pwn noobs for hours on end.
Correct PC Gaming Posture
Above all else, posture is key to effective gaming ergonomics. Consider the following to avoid potential long-term harm.
- The table should be slightly below where your elbows would naturally rest.
- Your wrists should face forward in a straight position for the majority of the time.
- The focus of your eyes should be in a slightly downward position.
- Your neck should be straight rather than bent.
- Your head should always be above your shoulders in an upright position.
- The computer chair should have a backrest which cradles the curves of your lower back.
- Your elbows should be on a 90-degree angle while your forearms should be horizontal.
- Your thighs should be close to horizontal, at least between 90 and 110 degrees.
- Your shoulders should be relaxed at all times rather than raised up or hunched.
- Your feet should rest flat on the floor.
You were checking out your posture while reading this list, weren’t you? How many out of the ten are you doing right?
Of course, you won’t remember all that. Print it out and stick it near your PC until you’ve got it down-pact.
We should mention the importance of purchasing a good computer chair. The better brands are specially designed to contour with the human body which is super valuable during those extended sessions. Look for one with neck support for optimal ergonomics.
The Angle of Your Backrest
Now that you’ve gone out and bought a sweet gaming chair, you can look at finding the angle that works best for you. Anywhere between 90 and 120 degrees is ideal.
Start at 90 and see how it contours to your back. After gaming for a few hours, push it back by 10 degrees at a time until you find the sweet spot.
The Best Monitor Position for Gaming
Getting a gaming friendly monitor and positioning it in the right spot is another critical factor for ergonomic gaming.
As mentioned above, your head and neck need to sit straight in an upright position above your shoulders, while your gaze should focus slightly down.
To achieve this, a straight on look must align with the top quarter of your screen.
If your LCD screen is adjustable, crank it up or down until you’ve found the right position. If not, you might want to invest in a new one soon. While you’re at it, tilt the monitor slightly backward for added ergonomic points.
As for distance, the golden rule is the have monitor one arm’s length away. There’s a little flexibility, however, as everyone has different eyesight. Feel free to move it one hand’s length closer or further away as you please.
The further away it is, the less eyestrain you’ll suffer. However, you need to be able to see clearly what’s going on to be at the top of your game.
The Best Keyboard and Mouse Position for Gaming
Never rest your keyboard on your thighs for anything other than a brief stint.
As mentioned, your elbows should be at 90 degrees. If they aren’t, you could either adjust the height of your chair or make use of the retractable keyboard platform under your desk (if you have one).
Of course, a specially designed gaming keyboard will help as well.
As for the mouse, ideally, you want to set it in within what ergonomics experts label the “neutral reach zone.” This refers to the position where your forearms can swing back and forth without raising or lowering at any time. It should also be within about six inches of the keyboard.
Investing in a bad-ass gaming mouse is a sensible plan as well. Not only will it help you pull of an elite 360 no scope, but its symmetrical shape will also enhance your proper mouse gaming posture.
Getting the Lighting Right
I know. You don’t want mom coming in and busting your balls for playing CS:GO at 4 a.m. on a school night. We’ve all been there.
But whenever possible, it pays to play in a reasonably well-lit room to avoid excessive eye strain.
Planning on sleeping sometime soon? Set up a blue light filter like f.lux to automatically engage in the wee hours to keep your circadian rhythm in check.
Some of the above advice is universal, while other bits require a little experimentation on your behalf to achieve the optimal pc gaming posture.
Keen to know more? Check out AJ Therapy Center to learn more about the art of ergonomics and all your general wellness informational needs.
And stay tuned to our blog for more gaming tips.