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Do you spend long hours at your desk working on your computer? If yes, you want to ensure you equip yourself with a chair that can comfortably support you for long periods without developing backaches, shoulder, and neck pain, or the general body fatigue and discomfort that come with prolonged sitting.
This begs the question: are gaming chairs good for long hours? The debate on gaming chairs vs regular office chairs has been going on for a long time. You’ll find varied opinions, with some folks claiming that gaming chairs offer superior support to regular computer desk chairs and vice versa. These mixed opinions can leave you even more confused.
We also got curious whether a gaming chair can comfortably support you for prolonged hours. So, we researched the ergonomic gaming chair and its ability to keep you comfortable at your desk.
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Are gaming chairs good for long periods of time?
Yes, gaming chairs are a great choice if you usually spend hours glued at your computer desk or gaming station. A well-made gaming chair comes equipped with many adjustable features, great lumbar support, a high back, and other ergonomic features ideal for long sessions.
Long before, these chairs were mainly made for aesthetics. But with time, the manufacturers realized that a good gaming chair should comfortably support the users for long hours.
This is because gaming sessions are usually long-lasting…some avid gamers even stay glued to their chairs all day long.
This has led to the modern gaming chairs offering both aesthetics and great support and ergonomic features that ensure you feel comfortable in there no matter how long you stay at your desk.
However, as with any other product, you may get a cheap gaming chair that might not give you a good experience as a well-built gaming chair.
The features also vary from model to model. This can significantly affect a gaming chair’s ability to comfortably accommodate you for extended periods.
Features that make gaming chairs great for long hours:
Below, we have outlined important factors that gaming chairs offer you to ensure you can sit in them for hours without developing any type of pain or fatigue.
Gaming chairs are good for your back since they feature a high back. This is a great feature since it enables the chair to offer you support for your entire back, including your shoulders, neck, and head.
As you already know, the human vertebral column (or simply the spine) runs through the entire length of your back. As such, if you’ve got back pain, a chair with a tall backrest will be more suitable for you in that it will support your entire column for the hours you’ll spend sitting.
The case is different for office seats since they’re mostly designed to offer lower back region support instead of full-back support.
Most of these gaming chair backs have a height ranging from 30 to 33 inches. To ensure you choose the right one for you, measure yourself and get one that covers your entire torso.
Removable neck pillow
Nearly every gaming chair also comes with a removable neck pillow. This is crucial for supporting your neck, especially when you’re in the recline position, helping you relax your upper back and shoulders.
These neck pillows perfectly fit your cervical spine curvature since they’re all height adjustable. This way, you can easily lean back on your chair without getting into poor posture and losing the natural alignment of your spine and your overall natural posture.
We suggest getting one where the neck pillow features straps running through a cutout in the headrest when you’re looking for a gaming chair. This is a great feature that easily moves the pillow up and down for the best support.
Lumbar support pillow
Another unique feature in gaming chairs that makes them ideal for long sitting sessions is the lumbar pillow.
The lower part of your spine features an inward curve. If you sit for long hours, the muscles holding this spine in this alignment become tired and give up. Eventually, you end up leaning and slouching forward in your chair.
With time, the stress put on the muscles around this area will build up and result in back pains.
Now, the job of the lower back support pillow is to take the burden off your lower back muscles. Moreover, it fills the space between your backrest and lumbar region to keep you from slouching while working at your desk.
With good lumbar support, your head and neck will also easily fall in a more favorable postural alignment, significantly reducing stress on your back.
Note that the lumbar pillow offered by most gaming chairs is removable. Thus, if you don’t find it comfortable, you can always replace it with 3rd party pillow for the best support.
A ton of adjustability options
A typical gaming chair also offers many adjustability options that you may not find even in high-end office chairs. This enables you to fully customize your chair to the settings you feel most comfortable in.
Some of the most common adjustable in gaming chairs include:
- Adjustable lumbar support: The pillow lets you move it up and down to easily target the exact region of your back where you need support. And as we’ve mentioned above, they’re also removable if you don’t find them comfortable.
- Adjustable armrests: gaming chairs usually feature 3D or 4D arms. These adjustable armrests help support your arms in more positions and help take pressure off your shoulders. The less weight your back bears from the upper body, the less the risk of back pain with extended sitting periods.
- Reclining backrest: Nearly all gaming chairs also present you with a friendly backrest recline. This is a crucial feature for back comfort. When your back is happy, you can stay glued to your chair for hours. Some premium gaming chairs can do 180 degrees horizontal recline and even let you do power naps. Even a cheap $100 model will still offer you up to 153 degrees backrest recline. This is a major difference from most office chairs which only allow you to go around 10-15 degrees back.
- Adjustable seat height: gaming chairs, just like regular office seats, also have multiple seat height settings. This enables you to easily customize them to a level where you feel comfortable sitting in the chair for long sessions. (Find more details about choosing the right seat height below).
Also read: How to sit in a gaming chair
Other features to look for in a gaming chair:
We have already said that a gaming chair is highly ergonomic. But there are additional factors you must consider when buying the best gaming chair.
This will ensure it fits your specific body comfortably well and prevent problems like neck, shoulder, and back pain that arise with hours of sitting.
These factors include:
As we mentioned earlier, the backrest in gaming chairs is one of the crucial features in enabling it to support your entire back for long-lasting comfort.
However, the height of this part varies between models (typically from 30 to 33 inches), so you want to ensure you pick the one that fits your specific body height.
The 30-33 inch models are a great option for average height folks around 5’3″ to 6’3″. For shorter people below 5’3″, you may want to look for a backrest below 30 inches. This is a good height for ensuring your neck pillow isn’t high above and easily fits under your cervical spine whenever you lean back.
For the tall office workers from 6’3″ and above, look for a gaming chair taller than 33 inches. This is important to ensure that the neck and lumbar pillows fall in the ideal positions for optimal support.
The seat dimensions of a gaming chair will also determine the comfort level it offers you.
Ideally, you want a chair whose seat size enables your lower back to sit flush with the backrest while leaving a 1-2 inch between the end of your thighs and your seat edge.
Start by checking the chair depth. If you get a seat pan that’s too long or too short, it can easily cut off blood circulation  to the end of your thighs. This not only creates discomfort but will also irritate the sciatica nerve.
If you’re a short person, choose a seat depth of around 18 inches or less. For the bigger and taller folks, go for a seat depth of 20.5 inches or more.
Seat angle lock
This is where a premium gaming chair shines over the cheap chairs. The top-end models usually present you with a seat angle lock to keep your seat angle locked in position even when you recline all the way back.
Thus, the seat continues pointing upward even when you’re not reclining and exerting pressure on the backrest. This enables you to work in a heavily reclined position, which helps reduce spinal stress and keep you comfortable throughout your workday.
Seat height range
For you to sit comfortably in your gaming chair for long periods, your knees ought to be bent at 90 degrees, with the feet flat on the floor. Even at its maximum height setting, getting a chair that stands too tall will force your feet to dangle off the floor. This results in pressure buildup in your thighs, and you feel uncomfortable sooner!
Likewise, even at the maximum setting, a too-short seat will force you to flex your knees or extend the legs. This will result in pressure building up on your hips and thighs.
If you’re an average height user, around 5’8″, get a chair with a maximum height of 18 inches or higher.
If you’re taller, say from 6’3″, make sure you choose a chair with a maximum height setting of 20 inches and above.
Like office chairs, varying gaming chairs support different users’ body weights. Choose a chair that supports your specific body weight to avoid stressing it with unnecessary weight.
Gaming chair vs office chair: What’s the difference?
We’ve already said that gaming chairs work great when it comes to accommodating you for long hours. But this doesn’t completely rule out the regular office seats as suitable for long hours.
For instance, an ergonomic chair like the Herman Miller Embody or Herman Miller Aeron works like a bridge between gaming chairs and office/task chairs. It will work great for those who spend all day at their desk.
However, you should be willing to spend extra bucks on this chair. But this will be well worth it, and your body and back will thank you in years to come.
Standard office chairs also win over gaming chairs with the mesh design most of them carry.
If you live in a region with a hot climate, sitting for hours on leather will heat up for the first few hours. This will leave your body soaked up in sweat and feeling gross after a prolonged sitting period—quite uncomfortable!
On the other hand, a mesh chair is highly breathable and will allow the heat to escape, so you feel comfortable all day long.
Bottom line: Some office chairs are good for long hours
You can find a good-quality, ergonomic-focused office chair that works just as great as a gaming chair for long sitting hours.
The added plus of going with office chair vs gaming chair is that you’ll get a cheap office chair with decent ergonomics.
This will save you a significant amount of cash that you can invest in other office gear or equipment.
When you have a good quality, well-made gaming chair, you can rest assured that it will comfortably hold you for long sitting hours. And you won’t develop any pain or the general body fatigue that arises with staying in your chair for long.
The best ergonomic chairs for gamers come armed with multiple ergonomic features and adjustability options to let you customize them for the ultimate comfort.
But this doesn’t mean that standard office chairs are bad for long hours. Most of them may not offer you the comfort level associated with gaming chairs. Nonetheless, you can still get a nice ergonomic office or task chair that comfortably holds you for long hours without any pain or discomfort.