How to Create a Winning Gaming Desk Setup
When we think of the best setup for gaming, we often focus on the computer technology like the gaming pc itself, or the 4k multiple monitors. Although those are key components in creating a winning gaming desk setup, ergonomics are just as important. Gamers, like office workers who live sedentary lifestyles in front of the screen, are prone to the harmful effects of improper ergonomics.
Esports professionals who train for up to 10 hours a day are prone to carpal tunnel, back pain and social anxiety. Not a professional esports gamer? At-home gamers who spend hours in front of the screen are also at risk for the injuries commonly associated with sedentary office workers.
Whether you’re a professional gamer, Twitch streamer, or just passionate about gaming, a gaming desk DIY workspace is the upgrade you need. All serious gamers know that ergonomically optimizing your /r/battlestation is the best investment you can make for yourself.
Why Do Ergonomics Matter to Gamers?
Take a moment and evaluate your body and posture at the moment.
If you’ve been sitting in the same position for awhile, chances are you’re starting to feel some discomfort or strain on your muscles or lower back. The strain might be experienced in your back, shoulders, or even your wrists.
The issue of improper posture and harmful gaming habits have become so prevalent that there are now clinics such as The Center for eSports Medicine and 1HP, dedicated specifically to treating eSport injuries.
Although the pain may be dull at first and seem like a minor issue, if left untreated, it can lead to health complications.
How to Create an Ergo, #Winning Gaming Desk Setup
Practicing proper ergonomics while gaming is not only beneficial for your body, but can also improve your gameplay. Alleviating the strain on your muscles, helps you play better for longer periods of time.
Regardless if you’re looking for a bedroom setup, or to build a gaming room, these ergonomic tips will help you create the perfect gaming desk setup.
Tip #1: Upgrade to an Ergonomic Desk
If you haven’t already, make the switch to a height adjustable electric standing desk. In a study conducted by the University of Waterloo, researchers found that individuals who stood for 30 minutes per every hour experienced health benefits.
Upgrade to an ergonomic sit-stand desk to reduce muscle strain and boost productivity. Standing desks come in all shapes and sizes. Just make sure the desk has enough room and the weight capacity for all your gaming equipment and accessories.
If your desk doubles as a recording studio for live streams, be sure you factor in the weight of your microphone and recording equipment.
Look for a desk that exceeds your needs, so that you can game in comfort.
Bonus Tip: Try these 6 simple exercises between games to help improve blood flow and circulation, all from the comfort of your desk!
Tip #2: Invest in the Perfect Chair
For the times you’re not standing and gaming, invest in an ergonomically engineered chair. Your body will thank you later.
Look for a gaming chair with a high back and additional lumbar support for ultimate comfort. The high back allows for your weight to be more evenly distributed, while the lumbar support alleviates strain on your lower back in the L4/L5 region.
The perfect chair should be fully adjustable, meaning the height of the chair, armrests, lumbar support and headrest should all be adjustable. The depth and tilt of a chair should also be adjustable, go for a chair that adjusts beyond your needs.
For an added level of comfort, you’ll want to invest in a chair with a thick seat cushion and breathable mesh. Not only is mesh easier to clean than leather, but it also provides more ventilation and moulds to support your body, just make sure the mesh is reinforced!
Tip #3: Alleviate Eye Strain
Eye strain is another common concern amongst those who spend extended hours in front of a screen.
In order to alleviate eye strain, make sure your monitor is at the right height, depth and angle. When positioning your monitor, make sure you have a viewing distance of at least 40cm and that your monitor is at eye level.
If you use more than one screen, invest in a dual monitor mount to save valuable tabletop space.
Another way to alleviate eye strain is by getting blue light glasses. They are available in a variety of shapes, colours and price points so be sure you do your research and order them from a reputable company.
Remember to give your eyes a screen break between games and try these ergonomic stretches.
Tip #4: Reduce Hand and Wrist Strain
Reducing hand and wrist strain all comes down to the placement of your keyboard and mouse. Both should be at a height that allows your elbows to be bent at a 90 degree angle close to your sides, regardless if you’re gaming standing or seated.
Many keyboards these days and mice come with wrist pads, however these pads are not meant for support while your keyboard or mouse is in use. The wrist pads are there as a place for you to rest your wrists in between use.
If your keyboard has a tilt function, try out different angles to find the one that is the most comfortable. You can also try switching out your mouse for a vertical gaming ergonomic mouse.
Try these physical therapist approved hand and wrist exercises to help stretch and strengthen your hands and forearm.
Tip #5: Correct Your Posture
Lastly, focus on your posture. You should always aim for neutral posture, your spine’s natural alignment position.
In neutral posture your spine is completely straight from head to toe. When you slouch or hunch, it compromises your spines natural alignment. This can lead to injury, in the form of spinal compression, nerve pinching and muscle tension.
Whether seated or standing, remember to:
- Keep your monitors at eye level to prevent hunching
- Pull your shoulders back and stand up straight. If you’re seated pull your shoulders back and keep your back flat against the chair.
- Rest your feet flat on your anti fatigue mat, do not cross your legs.
Gaming is demanding both mentally and physically, professional eSports gamers burn out faster than athletes in any other sport.
Whether gaming or in your everyday life it’s important to incorporate proper ergonomics in order to protect your body. Investing in your health is always worthwhile.
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