Back in 2017, my first gaming chair gifted me a deluge of life-changing benefits. Six years later, this article re-validates those benefits from a first-time user’s perspective. Recently, I gave away a gaming chair to a desk worker — with some predictions. First, it would improve his sitting posture. Second, improved posture would supercharge his energy levels. Third, excess energy would give him razor-sharp cognitive focus. Fourth, he’d gain a greater awareness of his body and its surroundings. These are the key gaming chair benefits for everyone (who uses proper technique). So let’s put these supposed benefits to the test.
According to the WHO, around 22% of adults worldwide suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability in 160 countries.
Even so, many people still sit for long periods without proper support. Then, they suffer consequences. Other common MSDs linked to unhealthy sitting habits:
- Chronic fatigue: a misaligned spine overworks muscles, leaving users perpetually exhausted.
- Migraines: forward head posture strains neck muscles until pain explodes in the skull.
- Wrist pain: 4 million Americans suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Neck pain: the fourth-leading cause of disability in America.
- Shoulder pain: causes around 4.5 million USA doctor visits per year ($3 billion cost).
- Poor circulation: poor posture restricts blood flow, causing varicose veins (especially in women).
My Experience With Gaming Chair Benefits
Back in 2017, I bought my first gaming chair. Once I figured out how to use it, musculoskeletal symptoms vanished. The most noticeable benefit was a massive energy surge. That powered intense bursts of super-productive desk work.
But that was just the beginning. More energy also heightened my awareness of my body and its surroundings. As a result, I became inspired by maintaining a clean, good-looking workspace. I also got inspired to hit the gym.
Fast-forward 1.5 years: I lost my beer belly, got a promotion at work, expanded my social circle, and found new professional opportunities.
Everything started with my purchase of a DXRacer Formula Series gaming chair.
Fast forward again to 2023. We gifted a DXRacer Craft Series to a full-time desk worker with poor posture. With the chair we gave him these predictions:
- His posture would improve.
- He’d experience a noticeable surge in his energy levels.
- With more energy, he’d enjoy sharper focus and greater desk work productivity.
- He’d gain a greater awareness of his body and its surroundings. The first sign of that would be a cleanliness obsession.
- Excess energy would power new physical fitness routines.
Benefits of Using An Ergonomic Chair
Englishman ‘Gordan Ramsey’ is a chef who does online consulting. He’s got various aches and pains that he’s learned to live with. He stands 5’7″ tall (170 cm). After hearing his story, ChairsFX decided to gift him a DXRacer Craft Series (rated for sizes 5’2″ to 5’7″).
Before he sat down, I adjusted the seat height so he could sit with a 90° knee bend with firmly planted feet. Then I set the backrest recline to a steep 100° angle. After that, I gave him these instructions:
- Tuck your hips deep into the seat.
- Plant your feet firmly on the floor.
- Use the lumbar support to brace your lower back.
- Prop your torso up by using the armrests.
- Focus on sitting upright comfortably (without strain).
I also played him this video clip to make sure he locked down the basics:
After a couple of days, he started reporting early benefits. After three weeks, he’s achieved 4/5 predicted benefits (no new physical fitness routines). Here’s a summary of his early benefits and the science that predicts it:
Reduced Strain Supercharges Energy Levels
A healthy standing posture produces a 25-45° lower back curve angle. Sitting up straight without support flattens the curve by half(1). As the lumbar curve flattens, back muscles must work harder at holding a seated torso upright.
As muscles tire, the back curls into a c-shaped slouch. That flattens the lumbar curve to less than 10°, placing severe stress on lower spinal discs. Over time, this pressure manifests as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
The transition from healthy to chronically slouched postures tends to happen gradually. Typically, muscles adapt to the positions a user holds most often. Once good posture disintegrates, most users start fidgeting.
Those sitting full-time will eventually settle into postures that they can bear. As a body spends more time in slumped postures, fascia (a fibrous network around the muscles) will stiffen to reinforce those poses.
Sloppy Postures Burn Massive Amounts of Energy
While sitting, most of a body’s energy is spent holding itself up against gravity. In contrast, a healthily-aligned seated spine operates with better efficiency. That leaves more energy available for cognitive functioning(2).
Dr. Roger Sperry (1980 Nobel Prize recipient for brain research) has a famous quote on this topic:
Better than 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body in its gravitational field. The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy available for thinking, metabolism, and healing.
So ninety percent of the brain’s energy output goes to supporting an upright posture. The remaining 10% powers thinking, metabolism, and healing. With the help of a gaming chair, it’s possible to ‘hack’ this ratio.
Using one will remove a huge amount of pressure off of the back, neck, and upper body. With more energy to play with, you’ll feel a lot more focused.
Early Physical Benefits To Expect
Here are some of the early health benefits computer users can expect(3) from having good posture:
- Reduced lower back pain
- Less headaches
- Reduced tension in neck and shoulders
- Increased lung capacity
- Improved circulation
- Improved core strength
- Higher energy levels
To learn more about gaming chair posture benefits, check out this feature:
Sharper Focus + Greater Productivity
Chronic slouchers are constantly overworking their muscles while sitting. That burns a massive amount of energy which could instead be powering the brain. This sitting strategy is counterproductive to “working” at a computer.
Several studies show how poor posture amplifies apathy. In noticeable contrast, sitting straight makes people more alert. There’s a scientific explanation.
The human brain has billions of neurons and trillions of synaptic connections. These fuel processing, memory, and information transmission. Slouching compresses the rib cage, reducing oxygen intake by up to 30%.
With less oxygen, computational processing speed slows in the prefrontal cortex(4). So as slouching compresses the body’s potential, it also limits the mind.
Here’s our first-time gaming chair user’s report on the brain boost benefit:
Enhanced Spatial Awareness
Back in my early gaming chair days, the first benefit I noticed was a massive energy and focus boost. As that transpired, I began to gain great awareness of my posture.
As a result, when old habits dipped me out of good postures, I would notice. Any time my hips curled forward or my lower back tightened I’d become vigilant.
Soon, hyper-awareness of my sitting postures spilled over to my workspace. Then, I saw with ‘new eyes’ how cluttered, dusty, and unkempt my workspace was.
Luckily, with excess energy to spare, it was easy to make cleanliness a regular part of my new routine. This reflects many studies that show similar. Working in unkempt spaces negatively impacts stress, cognition, mood, emotions, and behavior(5).
Those without energy to spare are often habitual slouchers. In a perpetual state of chronic lethargy, they’re more likely to wallow in filth.
But cluttered workspaces affect decision-making and your relationships with others. As clutter amplifies your stress levels, it also inspires unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating.
Add up the effects of slouching, chronic exhaustion, and coping mechanisms like binge eating and drinking. The net result is a fogged-up brain with less ability to process information.
Gordan Ramsey Cleanliness Report
ChairsFX gifted ‘Gordan Ramsey’ a DXRacer chair. He’s a ‘chef from Liverpool’ who works online. A few days after he started using the chair, he reported a surge of energy and sharpened focus — as we had predicted.
A week after he started using the chair, I paid him a surprise visit. Again, as I’d predicted, the spatial awareness benefit had kicked in. Since my last visit, he’d added plants, rearranged his desk, and done a top-to-bottom cleaning.
He also reports his work motivation through the roof. That’s foretold in psychological studies. Maintaining a clean workspace helps people sharpen discipline, gain greater focus, and feel more motivated(6).
Energy For Disciplined, Healthy Lifestyles
As I gained more energy and greater spatial awareness, I started to get jittery. Needing a way to burn off that excess, I started hitting the gym with a passion. Along the way, I limited my alcohol and cleaned up my diet.
The results started to really show after around 1.5 years. But our test subject Gordan Ramsey has a bum knee — exercise isn’t likely in his immediate future.
Even so, the gaming chair benefits I experienced lead directly to a healthier lifestyle. That’s consistent with a cookie-cutter blueprint making the rounds in the pro esports world.
Esports Optimization: Fitness Beats Perfect Postures
These days, esports performance doctors (not chair makers) have taken the lead on healthy sitting tactics. Many tout frequent movement breaks and healthy lifestyles as greater priorities than good sitting posture.
For example, Dr. Jordan Tsai currently does performance optimization consulting for Evil Geniuses. His performance priority list for pro esports players:
Rest, Exercise, Nutrition, AND a Good Chair
This blueprint is ubiquitous throughout the esports community. Proper rest, nutrition, and exercise plus a good chair helps players to perform at their best.
In contrast, overspending on a fancy chair without applying good habits might not achieve anything. Learn more:
Gaming AND Ergo Office Chair Benefits
Most of the world’s most famous ergonomic office chairs use the same lumbar-powered support principles. First, adjustable lumbar support aligns the spine. Second, adjustable arms provide extra bracing to hold the spine upright.
Third, a reclining backrest lets you customize support angles. For upright desk work support, a recline between 100-110° works best. Combined, these components support neutral sitting postures.
All chairs that use these components provide similar end results. See for yourself:
So it doesn’t matter if you use a full-back gaming chair or a mid-back ergonomic office chair. Regardless of your pick, proper usage matters. Then, everyone can enjoy the stated benefits (more energy, sharper focus, greater spatial awareness, etc).
Even so, there are a few special benefits for men, women, and kids to especially look forward to:
Gaming Chair Benefits For Men
Slouching drains energy, reduces flexibility, and overworks the muscles. When suffering from chronic lethargy, men are more likely to lose muscle and accumulate fat.
Weak, fat, slouching men come last in society. Desk workers suffering from passivity and lack of drive could upgrade themselves with a postural support boost.
A few weeks of sitting will give the muscles time to adapt. Once your posture rounds into form, energy levels will rise. Flexibility will return.
This leads to a confidence boost. In the animal kingdom, an open, upright stance shows dominance and authority. Among humans, it is a power pose that conveys confidence.
That makes you seem powerful to others, but it also makes you feel powerful. Within minutes of assuming a power pose, testosterone increases and stress hormones decrease(7).
Best Ergonomic Chairs For Men
Men wanting the most luxurious, sophisticated performance boost should look to the top of the industry. In 2023, the best ergonomic office chairs cost $1200-2300.
In the elite tier, I found that only the Herman Miller Embody ($1695) truly delivered a next-level back support experience.
In contrast, the rest serve up a cookie-cutter lumbar-powered support concept. Among the cookie-cutter support chairs, only the Herman Miller Aeron ($1300+) stands out with its legit next-level mesh.
On the full-back gaming chair side, the best options cost between $350-800. Secretlab’s Titan Evo 2022 leads the field by a large margin.
Notably, most elite office chairs have designs that are over a decade old. In sharp contrast, this year’s best gaming chairs are all on the cutting edge of ergonomic evolution. Learn more:
Computing Chair Benefits For Women
Women enjoy the same benefits of good sitting posture that men do. That includes more energy, sharper focus, greater spatial awareness, and more confidence. The confidence part is significant.
Women are more prone to negative body image perceptions(8) than men. With poor sitting posture comes a bent spine that slumps the shoulders and protrudes the belly.
As a result, women with poor posture look shorter and fatter than ones with good posture. This becomes even more problematic when slouching restricts the expansion of the ribcage.
That limits lung capacity and forces shallower breathing. Shallow breathing lowers oxygen levels in the blood(9); the brain recognizes that as a sign of stress.
Over time, chronic shallow breathing leads to a host of wellness issues(10). These include higher stress levels, sleep problems, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure.
Best Ergonomic Chairs For Women
Based on international sizing averages, a woman is considered ‘tall’ at 170 cm (5’7″). Therefore, average-sized women will do best with chairs specially designed for short people.
On the office chair side of the equation, Herman Miller’s Aeron Size A (1300+) fits sizes as short as 4’10” (147 cm). That’s the only ergo office chair specially made for short sizes. The rest fit sizes 5’3″ and up, costing between $200-$600.
On the gaming chair side, AKRacing’s California chair (for sizes 4’9″ and up) and Secretlab’s small Titan 2022 (4’10” and up) both fit ultra-small sizes. A pair of others fits sizes 5’3″ and up.
Ergonomic Chair Benefits For Kids
Most children start sitting by the age of four. Then, the average child has an attention span of around 10 minutes. By age 12, the average young person can sit still for around 24 minutes.
Most lifelong habits form between birth and age 10. Then, the brain is at its most flexible and adaptable to change(11).
So by the age of 12, a child’s sitting habits should be set. Therefore, adjustable desk chairs for kids are typically designed to fit ages 4-14.
Since kids love video games, setting them up with a supportive chair at an early age makes sense. With proper mentoring, the chair can help them to develop stronger back and shoulder muscles.
Over time, good posture becomes their default position while sitting, standing, or walking.
Best Adjustable Desk Chairs For Kids
The 2023 adjustable desk chair scene for kids is more robust than it’s ever been. This year’s offerings include the iconic Sidiz Ringo chair, a fancy mesh office-style chair, and a minified Secretlab Titan chair for kids!
Most models offer seat + backrest adjustability to ensure the child keeps their feet planted. There are options here for ages 2-12, with prices ranging from $150-$320.
What are the benefits of using a gaming chair? Back in 2017, I found several. However, to freshen things up, I recently gifted a gaming chair to a desk worker with some benefit predictions.
- Improved posture.
- A noticeable surge in energy levels.
- More energy yields sharper focus and greater desk work productivity.
- More energy also yields a greater awareness of one’s body and its surroundings. That often leads to a newfound cleanliness obsession.
- Excess energy eventually powers new physical fitness routines.
After two weeks, ‘Gordan Ramsey’ reported that four of the five benefits had already kicked in. But since he has a bad knee, a physical fitness expansion isn’t likely.
In conclusion, these are the benefits to expect from a gaming chair. With proper usage, you’ll enjoy more energy, sharper focus, and greater spatial awareness. Very often, excess energy may also lead to healthy lifestyle improvements.
Bottom line: any chair with adjustable lumbar + arms + a reclining backrest = neutral posture support. With proper usage, gaming chair benefits emerge. Learn more:
- Kaja Kastelic, et al. ‘Sitting and low back disorders: an overview of the most commonly suggested harmful mechanisms’. Collegium Antropologicum 42(1):73-79, March 2018. Read abstract (accessed 12 March 2022).
- Erik Peper, ‘Increase or Decrease Depression: How Body Postures Influence Your Energy Level’. Biofeedback 40(3):125-130, September 2012. DOI: 10.5298/1081-5937-40.3.01, (accessed 8 March 2022).
- Cody Lawyer, ‘7 Health Benefits Of Good Posture’. Hers Features, January 11, 2019. https://www.muscleandfitness.com/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-features/7-health-benefits-good-posture/, (accessed 8 March 2022).
- Calodagh McCumskey. ‘The benefits of achieving good posture’. Wellbeing & Meditation, July 14 2018. https://www.independent.ie/regionals/braypeople/lifestyle/the-benefits-of-achieving-good-posture-37103775.html, (accessed 8 March 2022).
- Libby Sander. ‘The Case for Finally Cleaning Your Desk’. Stress Management, Harvard Business Review, March 25, 2019. January 15, 2021. https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-case-for-finally-cleaning-your-desk (accessed 24 March 2023).
- Elizabeth Bacharach. ‘How Cleaning and Organizing Can Benefit Your Mind and Body’. Health and Wellness, April 7, 2022. https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/physical-mental-health-benefits-cleaning-organizing (accessed June 11 2022).
- Amy J. C. Cuddy, et al. ‘P-Curving a More Comprehensive Body of Research on Postural Feedback Reveals Clear Evidential Value for Power-Posing Effects’. First published online March 2, 2018. https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/CzbNAn7Ch6ZZirK9yMGH/full (accessed 24 March 2023).
- Moda M. Voges, et al. ‘Gender Differences in Body Evaluation: Do Men Show More Self-Serving Double Standards Than Women?’ Front. Psychol., 12 March 2019 Sec. Eating Behavior Volume 10 – 2019. DOI: doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00544 (accessed 24 March 2023).
- Ekua Hagan. ‘Can You Reduce Anxiety and Stress by the Way You Breathe?’ June 27, 2018. Read the article (accessed 24 March 2023).
- Emma Ferris. ‘Posture and Breathing: The Physiological effects of Shallow Breaths’. December 28, 2018. Read the article (accessed 24 March 2023).
- Harvard Health. ‘InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development’. https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/inbrief-science-of-ecd/ (accessed 24 March 2023).