eSports and other forms of competitive gaming are highly immersive and labor-intensive. Have you ever wondered how all those hours spent at your gaming desk have impacted your health? Aside from perfect posture, there are numerous ways to make your PC gaming setup even more ergonomic. In this guide, we provide guidance and advice on how to make a more ergonomic PC gaming setup with the right keyboard, mouse, monitor, and chair.
Your gaming keyboard should be placed on a surface about two to three inches above your knees. Desks with pull-out drawers or shelves are ideal. The center of the keyboard, where you’ll see the “g” and “h” keys, should fall right in line with your bellybutton. Your keyboard’s buttons should be easy to press. Otherwise, the extra effort can cause stress on the tendons and small muscles in your hands and fingers. Keyboards with wrist wrests have been found to increase pressure on the carpal tunnel up to 200 times more than keyboards without. If you can do without a wrist rest, you should invest in good arm support from your gaming chair and keep the keyboard angled down and away from you.
Place your mouse just as you did your keyboard, on a surface about two to three inches above your knees. You should not have to reach for your mouse, so double check the cord is long enough to reach the computer’s mouse port.
Monitor Distance and Height
Everyone is different. Our eyes can accommodate and converge on objects at various distances, but studies show that convergence contributes to strain on the human eye. As a rule of thumb, you should set your monitor at a distance that is far enough to minimize eye strain but not far enough that you can’t read characters or see certain details. One of the best ways to decide how far you should set your monitor is by measuring your arm’s length and the length of your hand. Start at that distance and adjust based on the way your own eyes accommodate and converge.
Choosing the Right Chair
Gaming is an all-consuming activity. Sometimes, we find ourselves sitting in the same position for several hours. Finding the right chair for your setup is paramount to your posture and overall health. The perfect chair will allow your hips and knees to rest at roughly the same level, but it will also allow your feet to be supported while lying flat on the floor or on a footrest. When your hips and knees are parallel to the ground, you can reduce excessive pressure and prevent disruption to blood flow. If your hips and knees are unlevel, you may notice an uptick in lower back or pelvis pain. The chair’s backrest should also be angled between 90 and 120 degrees, but you can modify the reclining angle according to your comfort level. Leaning farther back than 120 degrees can put stress on other structures that support the spine’s ligaments and muscles. Look for backrests with lumbar support that conforms to the natural curvature of your spine.
Needless to say, your PC gaming setup should allow you to be comfortable and supported as you spend hours trying to beat your personal best or eliminate the competition. We hope that this article gives you the insight you need to create a more ergonomic PC gaming setup in the long run.