Whether you work long hours in front of a computer or you’re an avid gamer who spends their downtime immersed in role-play, one thing is certain. A comfortable and supportive chair is essential.
Chairs specifically designed for the purpose of sitting for long periods have the right lumbar support and ergonomic design to minimize the risk of strain, discomfort, and injury, particularly on your back and shoulders. However, while gaming chairs and office chairs are both created for the purpose of sitting in front of a screen, they are quite different from each other.
If you’re looking for a new chair for your gaming or home office setup, you may be wondering which type of chair is best to purchase, particularly if you do both activities. Both types of chairs have pros and cons. To help you make a decision, let’s take a closer look at the differences.
The first thing you will notice about the two types of chairs is the visual difference in design. Gaming chairs look very distinctive. They’re often black with bright, contrasting colors and resemble race car driving seats.
Office chairs, on the other hand, are made using muted colors and don’t tend to look particularly stylish. The primary concern for an office chair is function over form, so the overall utilitarian aesthetic reflect this.
If chairs held a beauty contest, then gaming chairs would win hands down. They look cool and edgy. Office chairs tend to be on the boring side.
The primary reason to buy a chair is for comfort while sitting. Back and shoulder aches and strains are common problems caused or exacerbated by sitting in a chair that doesn’t offer enough support. Both gaming and office chairs address this issue well, but they look and feel very different.
Ergonomics of a Gaming Chair
Since gaming chairs are designed to resemble car seats, the ergonomic design is also modeled on this style. The difference is that, unlike a car seat, most aspects of the gaming chair are adjustable. Notable ergonomic features of the gaming chair are:
- Seat: Bucket style.
- Seat edge: Usually raised.
- Lumbar support: Removable and adjustable pillows.
- Armrests: adjustable both up and down and side-to-side.
- Backrest: Winged design.
- Headrest: Non-adjustable.
- Recline: Reclines to a high degree.
Ergonomics of an Office Chair
The office chair is designed solely for its ergonomics. It will look less impressive than a gaming chair but is likely to feel more comfortable for longer. Notable ergonomic features of the office chair are:
- Seat: Flat and height adjustable
- Seat edge: Waterfall shaped (sloped downwards)
- Lumbar support: Adjustable, though fixed models also exist
- Armrests: Adjustable up and down only
- Backrest: Not winged
- Headrest: Typically adjustable
- Recline: Reclines to a medium or low degree
Office Chair or Gaming Chair – Which is Better for Ergonomics?
Both are comfortable. However, several features of the gaming chair favor style over function. The bucket-style seat and raised seat edge are designed so it resembles a car seat but does little to improve sitting posture. The flat seat style and waterfall edge of the office chair help retain a proper posture while sitting.
Additionally, the office chair allows the legs to rest at a 90-degree angle which is healthier when sitting for long periods. The raised sides of the gaming chair can restrict movement and even blood flow to the legs if you want to cross your legs. Overall, for ergonomics, the office chair is the clear winner.
Office chairs don’t really have any additional features. They are simply designed for sitting in. Gaming chairs, on the other hand, are available with a multitude of bells and whistles, from LED lights, built-in speakers, and vibration functions that serve to enhance the gaming experience.
We feel that from a safety and comfort standpoint, office chairs will serve you best. It’s definitely the only chair worth considering if you only use your computer for work purposes. As office chairs can be used for working as well as gaming, they’re also the best choice if you do both activities.
Furthermore, if you are sensitive to back, shoulder, and neck pain, it may be best to avoid a gaming chair, even if you only intend to use it for gaming. If the ergonomic design isn’t important to you and your primary concern is a cool-looking chair that acts as a feature of your gaming setup, then a gaming chair is the way forward.