Gaming Chairs vs. Office Chairs: What is the Difference?
The type of chair you choose to sit in can have a significant impact on your performance, whether you’re gaming for hours at a time, or working in an office. A good chair can spell the difference between a smooth, comfortable work/gaming experience, or long term pain and discomfort. So what is the difference between gaming chairs vs office chairs and does it really make a difference which you choose? Let's take a look.
What Is A Gaming Chair?
Gaming chairs are specifically designed for the comfort of people who play video games. They are available in two distinct varieties, namely those intended for PC gaming and those designed for console gaming (Playstation, X-box, etc.). PC gaming chairs are essentially high-backed office chairs with metal frames that are mounted on swivels. Console gaming chairs are similar to recliners or loungers. They feature sleek styling and are often low to the floor.
Both styles of gaming chairs are designed for extended periods of seating and offer greater comfort and lumbar support than standard office chairs, and also often come with some extras like cup holders and built-in speakers.
Office chairs, also known as desk chairs, are chairs that are designed for use at a desk in offices. They are usually swivel chairs with wheels for mobility and height adjustment. There are several types of office chairs that are designed to fulfill particular needs, the most basic being the task chair.
This office chair does not feature lumbar support or a headrest. They generally can not be sat in for more than a few hours at a time without causing discomfort, though they are less space-consuming.
Mid-back office chairs provide fuller back support and can be sat in for hours on end. They are comfortable for long periods if their ergonomic design is correct. Full-back chairs, or executive chairs, offer full head and back support. Many of them are designed to be occupied for extended periods and are typically pricier office chairs.
Which Chair Is Right For You?
As previously mentioned, gaming chairs and office chairs serve very different purposes. The chair that works for you comes down to what you need and what you prefer. Although they are designed to fulfill different needs, it is not unwise to use a gaming chair for office work, or vice versa.
However, because it is common for gamers to play for extended periods, up to 10 hours a session, sitting in a cheap office chair for that long can lead to chronic stiffness and poor posture. So if you do plan on gaming for that long, it is recommended that you sit in a racing style gaming chair. These racing style designs support the neck and back, and encourage proper spinal alignment while sitting, as well as a healthier posture.
If you are more used to sitting with poor posture, office chairs will feel more comfortable in the beginning. But sustained bad posture develops tightness in the neck, back, and shoulders. On the contrary, if you are accustomed to sitting with lousy posture, gaming chairs will feel pretty uncomfortable at first, as your body will need time to adjust.
It can take about a week or so to “break-in” a new gaming chair, and during this time, you’ll probably regret buying one. Try not to, because after your body has adjusted, you will experience a comfort level you never thought you could.
The study of ergonomics is that of human efficiency in working environments. The ergonomics in gaming chairs respond better to the needs of your body. If your back becomes tired, you can increase support or adjust the chair's recline position. It is recommended that you recline between 100° and 110°.
When sitting in office chairs, your spine is responsible for supporting your arms. Gaming chairs have armrests to do this, sparing your muscles energy. Gaming chairs help remove pressure from your arms and upper body muscles, as well as your back. This allows for comfortable and longer sessions, gaming, or working.
Proper ergonomics in office chairs can help your joints remain comfortable when working. It is essential to adjust the height of your office chair so that your feet are placed flat on the floor, and that your hips are in line with your knees. Your mouse should be within easy reaching distance, and on the same surface as your keyboard.
Keep your wrists straight while using the mouse or typing, and your hands at the same level as your elbows. Try to reduce extended mouse use by using keyboard shortcuts, and be sure to use a mousepad with a rest for your wrist, to avoid long term adverse issues like RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
In conclusion, you should always pick the right chair for the job, whether gaming for hours or working long days. Do this, and you’ll avoid some severe injuries and health conditions in the long run.