The Fundamentals of Gaming Ergonomics: 5 Tips to Prevent Pain While Playing


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Oct 15, 2023

The Fundamentals of Gaming Ergonomics: 5 Tips to Prevent Pain While Playing

You need to take care of your body while you're gaming. Ergonomics is probably

You need to take care of your body while you're gaming.

Ergonomics is probably one of the most overlooked topics in gaming, especially as it sounds uncool and boring. However, it might actually be the key to improving your gameplay.

Good ergonomics allow for better blood circulation, which lessens fatigue and improves focus. After all, you can play better for longer if you feel good. So, this is what gaming ergonomics is about, and some tips on how you can game harder without making it hard on your body.

Not everyone plays in the same environment; some play on the couch, and some on a desk. Gaming ergonomics is all about the best practices for the situation you find yourself in. There will always be a better position for you to be in, and the goal of ergonomics is for you to be in that position.

Staying in one position is unhealthy, no matter how good the position is. So, here are some tips to help you be in better positions and avoid the pain your gaming habits might cause.

If you're going to remember just one thing from this article, let it be this tip. Above all the guidelines and diagrams of ideal ergonomic positions, the best ergonomic thing you can do for your body is to move around and stretch.

We suggest setting a timer for yourself or getting up every 30 minutes to get a glass of water. That way, you'll get up more often to go to the restroom.

Stretching your hands, legs, neck, and back are good ways to get blood flowing to those areas and prevent injury. You should try these stretches for long gaming sessions so you don't end up with all sorts of body pains.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the scariest things a gamer can suffer from. While rare, it's been known to end many pro gamers' careers. Even if you're not a pro gamer, carpal tunnel syndrome could negatively affect your daily life.

Your wrists have a limited range of motion; while they're useful for fast reaction flicks in FPS games, you shouldn't rely on them to do all the aiming. Placing your arm on the table will make them more useful and keep your wrists straight. Here are a few ways to hold a gaming mouse to improve your aim while maintaining proper form.

One way you can minimize strain on your wrists is to use mouse acceleration. Mouse acceleration can help you reduce the over-extension of your wrist by increasing the sensitivity when a target is out of reach. You can customize your mouse acceleration settings in apps like Custom Curve or Raw Accel to maintain control of your motion range.

You might want to look into custom controllers if you prefer that. Custom controllers have extra buttons in the back, so you won't have to put your fingers in a weird position to reach the face buttons. Using the claw grip method to hold a controller is fine, but it can potentially lead to strained tendons and injuries.

You can place your keyboard in extreme positions while still keeping your wrist straight. For example, the image above shows a keyboard tilted outward. However, the user could still maintain a straight wrist position with relaxed fingers.

Similarly, in the following image, the user still has a straight wrist and relaxed fingers but with the keyboard tilted inwards this time.

This is another view of the same position. As you can see, the user does not strain to reach the necessary keys. If you must flex your fingers to reach a key, adjust your hand placement or remap it to a nearer key. That way, you can avoid unnecessary strain while focusing on gaming.

More than reducing bodily stress, you can respond faster by keeping your keys in the best position. Since you don't need to move your hand or fingers that much, you'll react much more quickly, giving you an advantage over your opponents.

Your monitor placement impacts how you hold your head, affecting your neck's posture. And poor neck posture puts unnecessary pressure on your spine—something you want to avoid, as it can lead to serious spinal injuries. Besides regular neck stretches and movements, here's how to properly position your monitor's height and angle.

Firstly, find the distance to the monitor you game at with your back against the seat. We understand that some gamers prefer being relatively close to the monitor. And though this can quickly fatigue your eyes, we will still account for it.

Once you have your distance, assume a slightly tucked-chin position that isn't forced. Adjust the height and angle of your monitor so that you're looking right at the center of the monitor while maintaining a good neck position.

If you work and play on the same PC, it might be a hassle to change your monitor's position constantly. If that's the case, consider getting one of the best monitor arms to help you make monitor adjustments quickly. That way, you don't have to settle for a middle ground for both work and gaming, which will not do any favors for your neck and back.

To put it bluntly, most gaming chairs are terrible for ergonomics. They're cheap, mass-produced marketing canvases for brands to paste labels on with a considerable markup. For the same price, you can get an engineered office chair with much more thought on ergonomics than gamer-y aesthetics.

Granted, the same brand-slapping practice is found in cheap ergonomic office chairs, but even those provide more back support than the lumbar pillows found in gaming chairs. Here are a few of the best ergonomic office chairs that offer a tremendous ergonomic experience with plenty of adjustability features to fit the way you sit.

A footrest may not sound that relevant, but it's quite useful for your back. If you can't get an ergonomic chair that supports your back, a footrest will do wonders for your back.

If your feet aren't firmly planted on the ground, the back of your legs will have less blood circulation due to increased pressure on that area. Your body will also tend to round your lower back area to reach for the ground, resulting in terrible posture.

If that sounds boring, you might be excited that it can improve your aim. Having your feet firmly planted with your knees slightly raised gives your body more stability. Aiming is a skill just like in any sport; your stance is critical in most cases.

Desk ergonomics shouldn't be thought of as hard rules. Everyone's bodies are slightly different from each other, and every one games differently. Instead of telling you to put your body in a forced "ergonomic" position, we want to tell you that ergonomics is about constantly adjusting your body and peripherals.

You shouldn't be the one to adjust to get the best and most comfortable position—instead, things around you must accommodate your needs.

Jhet has been building and gaming on PCs since 2015. He previously took on clients as a Facebook media buyer in 2020 but started his writing career in 2022 and never looked back.Besides PCs, he loves building, tinkering with, and fixing all sorts of gadgets like audio equipment, phones, keyboards, and cameras. Anything that his tools can open, he will open.His specialties are improving the PC gaming experience as well as fixes and optimizations he's found for various gadgets.