When gaming, ergonomics concerns are probably not really the first thing on your mind. Stretching, warming up, and achieving optimal spine alignment isn’t something that springs to mind when you’re getting ready to sit in front of a screen. These are all the sorts of precautions pro athletes need to take when they’re out on the field, right? Well, they’re also important for esports professionals, and if you’re spending a comparable amount of time in front of a screen, then it certainly can’t hurt to try not to hurt yourself. You get what we mean. Here’s a quick breakdown of what ergonomics mean, and how to set up your gaming environment to be as comfy and efficient as possible.
What is an ergonomic setup?
An ergonomic setup is one that takes the body’s natural form into account and tries to fit as closely as possible to it while you’re gaming. For gamers, this can involve a number of different elements. What angle is your head positioned at when you’re looking at the screen? Does the chair you’re sitting in properly support your back? How high is your chair’s seat is from the ground? All these questions and many more have correct answers, and if you’re not doing the right thing you can develop some seriously annoying injuries.
Why ergonomics are important
Without proper care or attention paid to the ergonomics of your setup, you could develop muscular or even skeletal and neural problems. These range from aches and pains to serious nervous system damage such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which can develop from improper keyboard placement. At the lower end of that scale, they can still be detrimental as you can’t focus on owning people when your wrists are aching.
Think about it, how many times have you been absolutely locked into your game, only to discover once you finished that you’d been holding yourself in an awkward position for the last hour? Repeat that enough times, and it’ll wear you down. It can also cause you to feel fatigued more quickly, meaning you can spend even less time gaming. Who wants that? Seriously though, the health stuff is important. Don’t hurt yourself because you aren’t paying attention to your body.
How to make your setup ergonomic
There are a few pointers to follow when setting up your ergonomic gaming setup. Firstly, start with your chair. Ideally the seat should be at a height so that when your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. From there, the top of your screen should be in line with your eye height and the top of your desk should let your arms rest on it so your elbows form a 90-degree angle.
With your arms on your desk, your wrist should be able to rest comfortably while you type, or position your fingers on the WASD keys. If you find yourself arching your wrist upwards, you may need a wrist guard to help take the strain off. Even if you’re using a controller you should try to rest your arms on something so that you aren’t holding that weight, even though it’s not that heavy. If you’re on the couch, even just a cushion on your lap is enough to help out.
Weight is the enemy of ergonomics, and trying to reduce any instance of unnecessary load-bearing is what it’s all about. That can also mean things you wear. While, yes, that does mean it’s a good idea not to game in full chainmail, it also means that heavy headsets are a no-go as well. If you’re looking for comfortable and light headsets, our Cloud headset range should tell you everything you need to know in the name.
If you follow those few golden rules on how to set up an ergonomic gaming environment, you should manage to avoid any lasting pain or damage no matter how long you spend climbing the leaderboards.