Ever since the rise of the internet in the 90s, using a computer for work, school, or entertainment has become a no-brainer. Sitting for long periods, however, has proved to be a major health hazard, especially when not using the proper chair.
Highly underestimated, chairs are what either helps people maintain good health or leads to irreversible problems. In this article, I will discuss the topic of gaming chair vs office chair; save yourself the trouble and learn everything you need to know today.
When you think about office equipment, chairs are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. That doesn’t diminish their importance, though. In fact, thousands of people have reported higher levels of energy, productivity, and overall efficiency at the workplace just because they changed their chairs!
Most of us don’t really think about it, but it makes sense — you sit in your chair for at least six hours straight every day. You might as well want it to be comfortable…
That is where the debate: gaming chair vs office chair arises. A large number of people are unaware of the differences between the two. That is why we created this article. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Cheap Office Chairs… Not That Cheap
Unfortunately, people who think they save money by buying a cheap office chair don’t take into account the health risks they might face by doing so.
It is a well-known fact that poor posture leads to numerous health problems. People in the manufacturing field argue that generic office chairs not only do not help you stay in the correct position but actually promote bad posture.
In fact, I’m not just talking about mild conditions like muscle tension, neck and back pain. Serious injuries, such as lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis, are also quite common. And, as you probably expect, none of these conditions are cheap to treat.
Nonetheless, living with constant pain is probably one of the worst things on Earth. So why suffer when there is a solution?
Many workers with poor posture report that it also negatively impacts their cognitive performance. According to ergonomic chair manufacturers, physical discomfort makes you more prone to distractions.
In fact, the link between cognitive performance and posture has been a subject of research for many years now. The results show that people with good posture tend to be more energized, engaged, and alert. At the same time, sitting improperly can enhance the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
For this reason, not only does bad posture, as a result of cheap office chairs, lead to physical pain in many employees, but it also affects their performance at work. Consequently, business suffers as well.
Hence, sitting in a cheap chair for prolonged periods turns out to be a lot pricier (both for workers and employers) than just investing in an ergonomic chair.
Aren’t Gaming Chairs Just for Gamers?
This question is a commonly asked one and is part of the reason bringing up the topic of gaming chair vs office chair is so important.
The answer: of course not! While made with gamers in mind, gaming chairs are specifically designed for people who sit in one place for hours on end. For this reason, they are ideal for office workers, or really anyone who has to sit in front of a computer for long periods.
The actual term “gaming chair” is not trademarked, which means it can be (and is) used to describe a vast array of products that have one thing in common — providing maximum comfort to people whose job involves sitting at a desk.
On top of that, there are so many different color and style options that it should be immensely easy to find what suits you best.
Gaming Chair vs Office Chair — Everything You Need to Know
1. Design Difference
Straight away, the first thing that stands out is the design difference. Gaming chairs look a lot fancier with all their padding and various color schemes. That, however, is not a simple styling choice — it all has a specific purpose.
Thick padding, tall backrest, adjustable parts — these are all elements that have indisputable ergonomic advantages to the one-size-fits-all office chairs.
Office chairs are often simple and offer little to no adjustability. Many of them do have padding, but it is so thin that one may argue it’s there for style, not comfort. On top of that, many office chairs do not offer lower back support, which makes them extremely uncomfortable to sit in.
Gaming chairs, per contra, offer the full package of comfort, adjustability, and customization features. They usually have high backrests that provide superior back support. Furthermore, both the seat and backrest are lined with thick padding for maximum comfort. Adjustable armrests are another feature that stands out, as, naturally, the positioning of those parts is a matter of personal preference.
2. Comfort Alert
For people who have good posture, the change from an office chair to a gaming chair would immediately result in a notable difference in comfort.
That is not always the case with those who have developed bad posture habits, though. When a person is accustomed to slouching while working, this position becomes their comfort zone. Most of those who do it suffer from neck, back, and shoulder tightness. When they switch to a gaming chair, however, it forces them to sit upright, which commonly results in pain in those areas.
That is normal, as the body needs some time to adjust (usually about a week or two). Once adjusted, though, you will experience such comfort that you won’t want to stop sitting.
3. Adjusting Your Chair
Here are some tips on how to adjust your gaming chair for optimal comfort:
For computing, set the backrest recline between 100° and 110°. You will find your sweet spot somewhere in that range.
When sitting for prolonged periods, you want to make sure your spine maintains a neutral position. Adjust the seat height so that your feet rest flat on the floor. That way, you won’t put excessive stress on your spine. Also, I advise you not to cross your legs or dangle your feet as these positions disrupt blood circulation, which leads to unpleasant conditions like varicose veins.
- Armrest Configuration
Armrests are also essential. Without them, your arms have no support, and it’s up to your spine to battle with gravity to hold them up. So find the most comfortable position and make the necessary adjustments. Don’t forget to do that while having your feet flat on the ground. That’s because all the changes you make have to work for your whole body, not just an individual part.
- Support Pillows
A quality chair will have support pillows for your neck and the small of your back. Make sure they provide support to the natural curves of your spine. Many people with good posture find it comfortable to sit upright at their desks. As time passes, though, the body gets tired, and that’s when the support pillows provide a considerable amount of comfort.
The Problem With Office Chairs
Unfortunately, most cheap office chairs lack adjustability. Needless to say, there is no “standard” body type. So finding a chair that perfectly suits your body would be both extremely time-consuming and probably unsuccessful.
Obviously, there are expensive office chairs that offer some adjustability too. But why spend an enormous amount of money on something that “does the job” when you can invest in a comfy gaming chair that would provide everything you need?
Pricing is the aspect that varies significantly for both gaming and office chairs. A regular office chair (which I do not recommend) can cost you as little as $50, and a luxurious one can be priced at over $1000.
Gaming chairs, on the other hand, also start at under $100 but can reach up to $10,000. Most high-end gaming chairs cost between $300 and $500, though.
Generally, the most significant difference between high-end and regular gaming chairs is in the upholstery. The pricier variants have thicker, higher-quality padding that has better resilience and longevity.
It is up to you to decide if the differences are worth the cost. What I am sure about is that it’s better to invest in a simple gaming chair than a cheap mesh office chair.
Depending on your budget and the features you want, you can choose from an almost limitless spectrum of materials, designs, and styles.
That is where I can comfortably end the discussion of gaming chair vs office chair. It is all a matter of personal preference and needs, after all. If your job does not require sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, then you might be able to get away with a cheap office chair. If comfort is your priority, however, go for a gaming chair.
I tried to take an objective approach to the debate of gaming chair vs office chair with the information I presented.
Comfort is the number one priority when it comes to any type of furniture. In the case of gaming chair vs office chair, the facts speak for themselves — the former offers a lot more features, adjustability, and overall longevity.
Gaming chairs not only help you maintain good posture but also fix bad sitting habits. Thus, you will quickly see improvements in your physical health, energy levels, and even mood.
If you do, however, already have problems associated with poor sitting habits, this article might help you.
I hope that my comparison of gaming chair vs office chair helped you pick the best option for you. Now, with the knowledge you’ve acquired, you can make an informed choice that will benefit your health and productivity.