You’ve heard buzz about gaming chairs so you’ve visited ChairsFX for research. You want to know about gaming chairs vs office chairs. What are the differences between the two? Which one is better?
The first impression most people have about gaming chairs is the styling.
Gaming chair styling has a purpose. That purpose has to do with ergonomics. This aspect is the key difference between gaming chairs and office chairs.
Sitting long hours in a cheap office chair can lead to poor posture and chronic stiffness. Racing style gaming chair designs support the back and neck. This encourages proper spinal alignment and healthy posture while sitting.
This article expands on the key difference between gaming chairs and office chairs. That is: gaming chairs let you sit longer with positive health benefits.
Keep reading. Learn the specifics about how gaming chairs differ from office chairs.
Gaming Chairs vs Office Chairs: Design and Aesthetics
The most striking difference between gaming chairs and office chairs is the styling.
Side by side, you can see a few visual differences. First, a gaming chair has a higher backrest than a regular office chair. Second, it has adjustable armrests. Third, the seat has thicker padding.
Racing style gaming chairs also come with removable support cushions. One supports the neck while the lumbar cushion supports the lower back.
If accustomed to sitting with poor posture, office chairs will feel more comfortable – at first.
However, chronic poor posture creates tightness in the back, neck and shoulders. If your limbs are tight, a gaming chair will feel very uncomfortable. That’s because the body needs time to adjust.
It takes around one week to break in a new gaming chair. During that time you may regret buying one. After your body adjusts, you will enjoy a level of comfort you never thought possible.
Gaming chairs have thick padded seats and backrest. You set the recline to 110°. Then adjust the neck and lumbar cushions. After that, ease back into the chair.
That puts you at eye-level view of your computer screen. The backrest supports your weight, but keeps your neck and back aligned.
Most office chairs offer adjustable height and a rocking function. Gaming chairs offer expanded adjustability in two key areas:
Armrests: 2D armrests adjust up and down. 3D armrests can also adjust forwards or backwards and side-to-side. 4D armrests can also adjust diagonally.
Recline: most gaming chairs can recline to at least 135°. Some recline all the way to 180°. At each level of recline you can lock in with a tilt-lock mechanism.
The ideal recline for working in a gaming chair is between 100° to 110°. A recline to 135° is a relaxing way to read or watch videos. Any deeper is best for napping.
In contrast, traditional office chairs can wreck your back with extended use. That’s why office chairs are best for people who don’t sit for long periods.
Gamers spend long periods sitting, but they have a choice. When they start feeling tired, they can stop gaming and do something else.
Office workers don’t have that luxury. Americans sit almost 13 hours per day. While sitting, the spine holds the body upright against gravity. As the day wears on, the spine tires and wilts. That’s how slouching and poor posture starts.
Ergonomics is a scientific discipline that studies human efficiency in working environments. Ergonomic engineers use theory, principles and data to enhance human well-being and performance.
Gaming chairs ergonomics better respond to your body’s needs. If your back gets tired, you can increase back support or adjust cushions. You can also adjust gaming chair armrests.
Each arm of a 170 pound person weights around 10 pounds. In an office chair, your spine holds the arms up while sitting. In a gaming chair, the armrests do the work. This spares your muscles and leaves more energy for computing.
That’s an example of how sitting in a gaming chair helps take pressure off the arms, back and upper body muscles. You can adjust gaming chairs to hold the body up against gravity while sitting. As a result, the muscles don’t have to.
This gives pro gamers and savvy computer users an edge. The chair manages sitting posture instead of the muscles. This allows longer, more comfortable computing sessions – with greater concentration and focus.
Accessories and extras
Quality gaming chairs come packed with 50+ pounds of features and accessories. Standard gaming chairs ship with assembly tools and removable neck and lumbar cushions.
Some gaming chairs offer more, like retractable footrests or built-in massage units.
Low-cost office chairs don’t come with any accessories or extras. What you see is what you get.
ChairsFX divides gaming chairs into three price classes:
- Cheap gaming chairs: these cost less than $200. They work best as part-time chairs, able to support around 4 hours per session.
- Affordable gaming chairs: these cost between $200 and $300. They offer better features than cheap chairs but less padding and durability than expensive ones.
- Premium gaming chairs: these cost between $300 to $500 and can support full-time sitting for two years or more.
An important difference between cheap and expensive chairs is the quality of upholstery. Expensive chairs have thicker, more resilient padding that lasts longer. When you sit full-time, this makes a huge difference.
Gaming chairs vs ergonomic chairs
For many years, the only upgrade from office chairs was to high-end ergonomic chairs. Top models like Steelcase Leap and Herman Miller Embody provide excellent back support. The problem is the price. Ergonomic chairs are so expensive that many would rather suffer back pain than buy one.
In contrast, gaming chairs offer high-end ergonomics for the masses. What’s more, gaming chairs enjoy more robust development for a specific niche – PC users. The popularity of PC gaming fuels a massive demand for gaming chairs. That’s why the top gaming chair brands often release big upgrades and new features.
So ergonomic chairs and gaming chairs serve the same purpose. Both support good posture for long periods of sitting. The difference is that gaming chairs are much cheaper. They are also better suited to computing than general use ergonomic chairs.
Conclusion: gaming chairs vs office chairs
In the case of gaming chairs vs office chairs, the facts are clear. Gaming chairs offer more features and adjustability.
Quality gaming chairs come with steel frames and high backrests. Then comes thick foam padding. After that is a synthetic leather or mesh fabric cover.
These features support healthy posture while sitting. Your muscles will stop wasting energy supporting unhealthy posture. That leaves more energy to put into work, or gaming or any screen-based desk activity.
If posture and comfort are not concerns, then the gaming chair vs. office chair debate is a personal preference. If you’re after a simple and comfortable chair, an office chair may suffice.
Learn more about gaming chair models
This article explains the differences between gaming chairs and office chairs. It also touches on the ergonomic benefits of gaming chairs. If you decide to buy one, choose the type that’s most appropriate for your needs: