Gamer Chair Comfort: Ergonomics
A lifetime of utilizing chairs, as well as other forms of support, has rendered the majority of people occupying first world countries completely dependent on their chair and table culture. Without always performing natural actions uninfluenced by support of some kind, the body will never be able to strengthen important muscles to counteract tension and control itself properly – and muscle atrophy doesn’t make things any easier. Basically, modern habits have deteriorated our body’s natural ability to balance and posture properly. This can result in surface pressure hot-spots and uneven weight distributions on key areas, which will easily cause discomfort and inevitably lead to much more significant health concerns. So, what can you do to combat these ailments and stay healthy if you’re forced, or prefer, to sit for long periods of time? This is where ergonomics comes into play.
Ergonomics – What is it?
Ergonomics is a term derived from two Greek words, one meaning work, and the other natural laws, so Ergonomists study the capability of people in relationship to the demands present in their work. Recently, ergonomists have conducted many different studies in order to better understand posture and how it affects the human systems, and also to define ways of reducing unnecessary static forces from slowly withering down the body. If a gaming chair manufacturer claims their newest model has been ergonomically designed, then it needs to accomplish much more than just any run of the mill office chair; its features need to improve your working capabilities and ease the demanding strain placed on your body. There are plenty of ergonomists on the fence about how to address the prevalent chair and table culture that’s already been deeply instilled into society. While some are of the opinion it’s impossible to ever design an ergonomic chair which will be of benefit to all of the various body types or weight distribution intensities and patterns present in different people, there are a brave few who fancy themselves as pioneers and innovators, and have dedicated themselves to getting as close as possible.
The Importance of Ergonomics in Design
Why do people think it’s impossible to come up with an ergonomic design that is one size fits all? It’s because precise pressure distribution is paramount to sitting comfortably, and even a miniscule interference in pressure distribution can have a profound effect. Surface pressure caused from poor posture is a chief concern when it comes to staying alert, as high levels of surface pressure can constrict blood flow. Proper pressure distribution in an ergonomically designed chair will divert the focus of peak pressures towards the areas that are naturally responsible for handling the load, such as the Sacrum (tailbone) and Ischial Tuberosities (sitting bones) when you’re sitting in an upright position, and the lumbar (lower back) and thoracic areas (trunk) when you’re reclining. Ergonomists still researching towards the perfect chair for everyone are now of the firm belief that a chair needs to be topographically neutral, meaning that it should conform equally well to all body types rather than having circulation-restricting protrusions everywhere, in order to achieve dynamic support. While everyone distributes their weight in a similar pattern when they sit on a chair, research has shown that the intensity of application and where it occurs at varies from person to person, so having a chair that is topographically neutral will allow the user’s body to dictate the pressure distribution, rather than the chair’s structure; this is dynamic support. If you carefully combine this topography-free dynamic support idea with other innovations to improve weight distribution and surface pressure, you’ll end up with an ergonomically designed chair of incomparable comfort that’s capable of seeing you through even the longest workdays without agitation.
The Benefits of Ergonomics for Office Work and Gaming
Did you know that aside from the common cold, back pain and other similar discomforts caused from repetitive strain are the leading cause of people missing work? And even if your pain threshold hasn’t reached an intolerable level yet, there are a slew of other side effects associated with poor posture for you to be concerned about. Possible issues stemming from being forced into a stressful right-angled seating position with no ergonomically conscious designs are: fatigue from poor circulation, varicose veins, neck, spine, shoulder and lumbar pain, repetitive injuries, and so much more. Having a properly designed chair underneath you while you work or play could just be the key to solving a myriad of issues you’ve been experience, from something as little as shoulder stiffness, to the reason you’ve been depending on (and craving) drinks high in caffeine or sugar. Thanks to advancements in pressure mapping technology, chair manufacturers are able to satisfy a larger number of different bodied people, but they’re not much closer to achieving their goal of an ultimate chair. Unfortunately, many companies overlook the fact that their cushioning and other amenities can get in the way of the base ergonomic design, so be sure to give some extra thought to your body type and what they’ve attached to the chair before you believe their claims. Computer desks, as well as the dorm rooms and offices you typically find them in, aren’t very adjustable, so you need your chair to make up for that! It’s funny, but a simple change in posture could make the difference between looking forward to, or dreading, the things you have to do on your computer. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to play/work for longer free from aches and pains?