The gaming industry is home to a plethora of debates and questions that pit one item against another. One of the more common questions asked by those of us who care about our posture is “Should I have a gaming chair or an office chair?”
While this is a question I intend to answer, there is a lot that must be explained beforehand to ensure that the correct answer, if there is a definitive one, is supported by evidence and understood by all.
Before the answer itself is considered, you must ask a different question…
If you care about your posture in the slightest then a gaming chair or an office chair is actually quite critical. With science-backed ergonomics, these seats can make your posture better and make sure that you are sitting in an upright position. They have extra lumbar support and ergonomic features that ensure you sit upright. Most gamers notice that their back pain is a lot better after swapping their old chairs for one of these. They ensure you can play games for long hours without it taking a toll on your body.
Not only that, but thanks to the thick padded seat and adjustable armrests, gaming/office chairs can help transform your home office or gaming area into a thing of beauty. It is noticeably more comfortable. Not only is your posture getting fixed but it is a more enjoyable experience for you to spend long hours playing video games.
Gaming chairs are a specialized subgenre of standard chairs. In their simplest terms, they are chairs that were designed with video game enthusiasts in mind. They’re typically an ergonomic chair, and also boast an impressive armory of anti-back pain hardware. Almost everything about them is adjustable to maximize your comfort while using one. Many gaming chairs will have padded armrests, fixed lumbar support, and a fixed headrest but there are still come out there with adjustable variants of these.
Back pain is a thing of the past as adjustable lumbar support allows you to move the lumbar pillows to where your back most needs them, perfecting your posture beyond your wildest dreams. The seat height is also adjustable so that your gaming chair fits in most, if not all, gaming setups and environments.
Despite being under the title of ‘gaming chairs’ there are still a few different types of gaming chairs. For instance, the bucket seat design looks like a gaming chair standardly would however it lacks the wheels and legs that would normally be attached on the bottom. These are decent for certain situations but personally, I don’t like them as they are far too low down for any generally placed monitor or TV.
Another type of gaming chair is the racing style gaming chair, these are less about sitting back and relaxing and instead prioritize having you in a good position to attach steering wheels and foot pedals so that you may play racing video games.
Racing style gaming chairs sometimes come with metal bars and supports so that they may hold your racing gear in place however the chairs that lack this are still compatible with most racing gear stands themselves.
As obvious as the title may sound, office chairs are still quite in-depth. Your standard office chairs will have a lower back than gaming chairs as they’re designed for you to sit upright and not lean backward. Despite this difference, they are still very healthy for your posture and correct your sitting position with ease.
In design, your standard office chair is less flashy and vibrant than a gaming chair. While there are exceptions for both, standard office chairs will fit a basic color scheme and design making them look at home in an at-home or at-work office space.
Similar to gaming chairs, office chairs are adjustable in height however they typically lack the added lumbar support and adjustable armrests and instead go for a more simplistic ‘one position fits all’ armrest. To make up for this, the lower back of an office chair is oftentimes curved towards you to add as much support as possible to your lower back.
Each chair is different and has its own specific uses. By this I mean a gaming chair will undoubtedly be made with gaming in mind whereas an office chair is designed with the thought of someone working at a desk.
Aside from the aforementioned differences, these chairs differ in average price as well. Office chairs are more simple by design so the average price is anywhere between $70-$100. On the other hand, a gaming chair will most likely cost between $90-$140 due to its specialized features, more vibrant colors, and standardly different materials.
Speaking of materials; office chairs are usually plastic with mesh coverings on the back and a padded seat, but this is to be taken with a grain of salt as you can of course find office chairs made out of different upholstery. Gaming chairs are mostly made out of PU leather and therefore costs a bit more.
Despite their differences, office and gaming chairs are still both better for your posture than traditional ergonomic chairs.
The debate of ‘gaming chairs vs office chairs’ is unanswerable if you don’t know how to go about purchasing either one. Here are some major retailers for gaming chairs!
Good ergonomically designed office chairs are quite difficult to find as the market is very saturated. To counter this problem, below is a list of some good retailers for this exact product.
Some elements of gaming chairs can be counterproductive. Features such as the bucket seats and the raised front lip on the gaming seat. The raised front lip is taken straight from the design of a car seat and is used so that a driver may reach the pedals a lot easier. However, as you may guess, people using anything other than a racing-style gaming chair would not own pedals.
It goes against an ergonomic office chair design as the leg is most comfortable at 90 degrees with your feet resting flat on the floor. The raised lip stops this from being so and therefore there is a larger pressure build-up in your thighs. The complete opposite to this is the office chair design of a ‘waterfall edge’ where the seat drops at the front to allow your knees the 90-degree angle they deserve.
When looking at a low budget; gaming chairs offer a much higher rate of comfort and support. Many gaming chairs will be very comfortable at a low budget compared to office chairs of the same value. Even cheap gaming chairs typically have all of the features you would expect from them, while comparing gaming chairs is not the main goal, low-budget ones are still full of comfort and support. Ergonomic office chairs of the same budget tend to be lacking in this department and oftentimes come without lumbar pillows, reclining, and 2d/3d armrests.
Despite this, once you raise your budget to a higher value, office chairs start to become a lot more worthy than gaming chairs. This is partially due to the lack of design trends they have to follow, which in turn allows them to innovate their own design with flexible materials and dynamic lumbar support.
More on this, gaming chairs may be ergonomic but they all follow a very similar trend which can be tiresome and even boring after a while. Office chairs do not do this. Herman Miller for example has very different styles of chairs, but it goes deeper than style.
The styles may look different but it is for a far more important reason than aesthetics. The Herman Miller office chairs all have reasons for why they look how they look and it all comes down to comfort. This is further proven by taking a look at your standard GTracing gaming chair and comparing it to the Herman Miller gaming chair range.
GTracing chairs all look very similar to other brands of gaming chairs whereas the Herman Miller gaming chairs look very different and will stick out in a crowd because the design is focused on absolute comfort and support instead of following a trend. While high backs and headrests are indeed comfortable, Herman Miller chairs provide just as much comfort without them.
Some may argue that gaming chairs have a primary initiative to look cool with comfort being the second most important thing. While my recent points may have proven this as being the standard; some gaming chair companies prioritize comfort overlooks.
Secretlabs make chairs, unlike most gaming chairs in terms of looks and comfort. They have adjustable 4D armrests which are better than most other companies offer. In addition to this, they also decided that instead of having headrest pads or a lumbar support pillow they would instead curve the back of the chair to form natural lumbar support. As for the headrest pads, or lack thereof, Secretlabs fortify the entire back of their gaming chairs with thick padding that acts as a headrest but also makes the rest of it comfier than the competition.
Your office environment need not be compromised by an over-the-top gaming chair while you’re hunting for posture support as a lot of higher-end office chairs offer the best ergonomics possible. Some of the best chairs for posture are office chairs as they, as previously stated, start to innovate what they define comfort as. With adjustable armrests and a backrest recline feature, high-end office chairs are better than gaming chairs for certain.
To end the gaming and office chair debate of “Gaming chair vs office chair”, it is best to look at your budget. If your budget is rather low, then it would be beneficial to look into getting a gaming chair as they offer better support for a lower price. However, if money is not a concern and you are willing to splash some (or a lot of) cash then an ergonomic office chair is for you. At a higher budget, office chairs are a lot healthier for your body than even the most expensive gaming chairs.
With a lower budget, yes. Gaming chairs offer high support at a lower price. With a higher budget then office chairs provide better support.
Quite the opposite, in fact. They are designed to be more supportive in comparison to other chairs than you may be using.
It depends on what you’re using currently. That being said, gaming chairs can absolutely be used for working at a desk.
This is mostly down to it being a lower-tier chair, however, if the issue persists then it is most likely down to your height or size as gaming chairs tend not to accommodate the smaller, or larger people and instead try to fit the average-sized person.