Gaming Posture and Ergonomics for Esports
Gaming posture matters! A proper gaming posture for PC can make or break a career in Esports. If you’re in Esports, you don’t want to get back pain or neck pain. It might lead to you playing worse. Or it might even stop you playing. And we can’t have that! Also the discomfort you can feel stops you playing like a ninja. So just get it sorted!
Basically in your gaming posture, you’re subjected to all the problems normal desk users have. But you’re also under stress, you can’t walk away from the game, and you have to win. You do have to win, don’t you?
I’ve been a gamer since 1977. Yes, read it and weep you young keyboard warriors, you mouse-masters. SINCE 1977. I’ve played more games, and for longer, than many of you have EVEN BEEN ALIVE!!! And. I. Still. Play. Games. Most every day.
You can’t just set yourself into a new posture and expect to keep it. It doesn’t work like that. You have to train yourself!
WHAT’S THE PROPER GAMING POSTURE?
Guess what? The best sitting position for gaming is exactly the same as desk job posture. But it’s harder to apply, because all your attention is going to be in the game. You don’t really want to be sitting there checking the angle of your thigh mid-game, do you? Didn’t think so.
So the best thing to do is to train yourself to sit well in this order:
1. Learn to sit well with good gaming posture in front of everything as it’s turned off. Really, Turn it off (it’s too much of a stimulus and will override your postural awareness at first). The best sitting position for gaming is learned with it all turned off. Trust me, I’ve been teaching this for 15 years.
2. Learn to sit well with good gaming posture with everything turned on – just not playing the game! See the blank screen, and be aware of yourself at the same time. In just takes a little practice.
3. Learn to sit well with good gaming posture and just type some nonsense. Not like I am here, though. Real nonsense, random keys.
4. Learn to sit well with good gaming posture and type your frequent keys. Go all WASD on that keyboard, do your WASD thing, but still with good posture!
See how you’re building up the best gaming posture in little stages? This is how you do it, so it sticks with you, instead of just trying to ‘sit up straight’ and forgetting the moment you get to spawn-kill that loser.
5. Now turn the game on and practice solo/offline. Make it ALL about your posture, don’t try to play well. In fact, you might play a bit worse while you pay some attention to your posture, and less to your game. Aim for 80% attention to posture, 20% attention to game.
6. When you’re happy you can do that, switch it round, give 80% attention to the game, and 20% to your posture. That’s 20% more than you’ve ever done before, right?
Get used to it, and soon you’ll be sitting better, in the right posture for gaming, AND playing better. Result!
HOW DOES THE CORRECT GAMING POSTURE HELP YOU PLAY BETTER?
Let’s take a look at some obvious advantages:
- Less stress on the body means less aches and pains
- Better breathing means clearer thinking and less fatigue
- Better circulation means a good blood flow to where you need it most
- Less likelihood of the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Strain Injury, Text Neck, rounded back, tight hips, indigestion, shoulder and neck pain. I could go on forever here!
- Being poised and alert helps you react quicker.
- You can play for longer before you’re destroyed!
HOW CAN YOU CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT FOR THE BEST GAMING POSTURE?
- Make sure to have a large screen. You may end up leaning in to get a more immersive experience if your screen isn’t huge. Also a large screen means you can see detail better, so you’re less likely to lean in. Think of keeping your back against your chair.
- Invest in a good chair – but watch out for over-hyped expensive chairs. Many gaming chairs are built to *look* great, but may not be as useful as a good ergonomic chair.
- Make your practice sessions shorter, with more breaks. Set a time, get up, and move about. Give your eyes a rest too by looking out of a window, where they can adapt to a longer focal length, rather than just a foot or two in front of your face.
POSTURE BASICS FOR GOOD GAMING POSTURE.
These are basically the same as a normal desk setup:
- Have the top of your monitor at, or a little below, your eye level. Many monitor’s stand are too short and leave you pulling down into yourself to get the right view. Aim to have the top third of the monitor in front of your eyes.
- Have the monitor about an arm’s length in front of you.
- Keep your keyboard and mouse as close to you as possible, with your keyboard directly in front of you.
- Your knees want to be bent around 90 degrees, maybe a little below the height of your hips too as this help keep you…
- Feet flat on the floor. Very important! Not wrapped around the chair leg, or under your butt.
- Let your elbows be around 90 degrees too, so your forearms are horizontal (level with the desk) not sloping up or down.
- Do not rest your wrist on the edge of the desk! No!
- Have a relaxed, upright spine. Think balanced, neutral, open and releasing. Not stiff or tense at all. Your spine wants to be springy. Let it!