The gaming industry is enormous in almost every conceivable way. More than 210 million Americans play games regularly on at least one platform and as an industry, it’s worth well over 130 billion dollars a year. The revenue generated comes in many different forms, from real items like peripherals and hardware to virtual ones like weapon skins and character costumes. The aspect we’re going to be focusing on today, though, will be making sure you have the right gaming furniture setup.
Your average gamer spends at least six hours per week playing - which isn’t a lot in itself - but when you consider that the average American spends at least six and a half hours per day sitting down, we’re already in sedentary territory. We spend more time sitting nowadays than we have at any point in history and the adverse health effects it brings are actually pretty serious - weight gain, weakening of muscles, bones and your immune system, poor circulation just to name a few.
A quick history lessonIt’s not all gloom and doom though - there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In order to get a better look at the answer, we need to check out the annals of gaming history for a little inspiration.
Allow me to take you back to the 1980s, AKA the Golden Age of the video arcade. Before the console wars heated up and changed the game, people used to go out of the house to get their video game fix. Not only did people actively go somewhere, but they would also stand up while playing, as many machines required the player or players to do so.
It’s fair to say that this wasn’t exactly intentional from an ergonomic perspective - having players standing rather than sitting was obviously a space saver - but what it does show is feasibility. People were beating games for years standing up and those who have tried it while gaming now find it to be engaging and make you feel more involved in the game.
So you might be wondering, how do I stand up and game comfortably? Well, the answer is to call in some support and get the kind of gaming furniture that’ll always have your back.
Calling in reinforcementsOur first port of call is the desk you use. What you need here is a height-adjustable sit-to-stand desk that can switch between the two stances as easily as possible. You should be looking for a desk with a motorized frame, as they’re the easier to move than say their hand-crank or pneumatic equivalents. All of the models we manufacture come with a quick and quiet dual-motor frame, which will get you to your preferred sitting or standing position in a matter of seconds.
All our desks are controlled by a keypad, so all it takes is the touch of a button to set it into motion. To make life even easier, they have four programmable settings - so once you’ve set your preferred heights, they’ll be remembered and you won’t need to personally move it to the exact height you like every single time. As there are four settings, you can easily set up your desk to have your preferred positions for sitting, standing, working, and gaming ready to go at any time.
Another couple of important features to look for in a height-adjustable gaming desk are strength and stability. A lot of gaming setups consist of multiple monitors and some hefty hardware, so it’s best to get a desk that can handle all of your gear and still raise and lower comfortably. As for stability, it should go without saying that you want a desk that does not wobble or have much give in it - you’re trusting your hardware with it, after all. Both of these things were very much in our minds throughout the design phase of our desks - even our cheapest model is nice and sturdy and can handle up to 300lbs.
Next, you’ll need to think about the shape of the desk you want. We looked at various options in this blog post, but it really boils down to your needs and preferences. For example, if you’re a streamer, then a lot of space is going to be a desirable feature - so perhaps an L-shaped desk would be the right call. If you’ve not got a lot of room in your gaming cave, then you might want to plump for a smaller option, like a standard 53” x 29” inch desk, or even go full custom with a DIY kit.
The final thing to consider here is aesthetics. Some desks are dedicated gaming ones, whereas others are more multifunctional - so going for a minimalist color top is a great way to give yourself versatility if yours is for both work and play. Black, for example, can look sleek, cool, and go with all the fun and bright gaming colors, but it also looks professional and can work within many other homely color schemes. The SmartDesk 2 has five options to choose from, so you’re bound to find something that’ll work for you.
Getting the right gaming desk is the right start, but we all know that you’re not going to be standing the whole time - too much of anything is bad - so in order to complete the set, you’ll also need to have a great ergonomic chair.
If we’re going to break down a chair’s most important factors into simple terms, they’d be support, adjustability, and breathability. These factors combined are essential when it comes to a comfortable and healthy sitting experience. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
So first up, let’s talk about support. You need a chair that will allow you to sit without straining any part of your body and allows your back to be in a position where it retains its natural curve, which has it slightly resembling the letter ‘S’. The most important form of support is for your lower lumbar - so you should go for a chair that is designed to do so, rather than a chair that has an additional lumbar pillow as an afterthought. Dedicated armrests are also important when it comes to avoiding strain, and if you like to recline, having a headrest and leg rest doesn’t hurt either.
For adjustability, it’s all about being able to set your chair up so you can see your monitor or TV and use your mouse and keyboard or controller, comfortably. In order to do this, you’ll need to be able to adjust the height of the seat, so you’re head is level when looking at your screen, as well as the armrests, so you can make sure that your arms aren’t straining in an unnatural way. Beyond that, it also helps to have a chair with variable tilt tension, so you can get the right amount of resistance you need when you lean back or move.
Finally, breathability. This may sound like a slightly strange category, but it’s definitely an important factor when it comes to comfort. As you may have noticed, a lot of gaming chairs are in the racing-seat style and are upholstered in a synthetic leatheresque material, commonly known as ‘pleather’. The problem with both genuine leather and pleather is that they aren’t breathable fabrics. You get hot, and you get sweaty - not a nice feeling.
In order to stay cool, the material that you should go for is a breathable mesh, like the Korean one we use on the ErgoChair 2. Having a far less restricted airflow to your back will keep you cool, even when things are heating up on the battlefield.
So there you have it - from the arcade to the modern era, standing while gaming is tried, tested, and certainly worth a blast when you’re knee-deep in a serious session. Finding the balance that works for you is the key, but if you’ve got the right gaming furniture backing you up - you’ll be sure to win.
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