Gaming chairs work by having a lot of ways that the chair can be adjusted and customized to your body and your gaming style.
In order to best adjust a gaming chair so it works the best, you first have to choose the right chair for your body.
How to Find the Right Gaming Chair For You
- Do you game upright or do you recline? In other words, where is your line of sight directed when you play? Do you lean backwards, or want to lean backwards, or do you want to be supported upright?
- Do you currently sit on the floor? If you prefer to sit on or near the floor, a rocker-style gaming chair or beanbag chair might be a good choice for you.
- How much do you weigh? If you are heavy, check the manufacturer's weight rating for the chair to make sure it is sturdy enough for you
- How broad are you? If you have wide hips or shoulders, check the dimensions of the seat and back of the chair to make sure that you will fit comfortably
- How tall are you? If you are very tall, you need both more room at the legs and in the back. Check the height of the back and the maximum seat height to see if it will be comfortable for you. If necessary, use blocks or something to mock up a comfortable seat height for yourself at home and measure it for reference. If you are very short, may chairs may be uncomfortable for you as well, so look for the low end of the height range.
- Do you want a gaming chair with built-in speakers?
- Do you want a gaming chair with a built-in mousepad, cupholder, Bluetooth, or other gaming-specific features? Do you want a footrest, or a pedestal for game controllers?
While many gaming chairs are sold online, so you can't “try them out” before buying them, paying careful attention to the dimensions and range of adjustments in the chair will help you find one that is suited to your body.
How to Adjust Your Gaming Chair
Once you have your gaming chair, you can begin adjusting it to better fit your body and provide prolonged comfort. In order to adjust your gaming chair, follow these steps in this order:
Adjust the height of the chair
Standing in front of the chair, adjust the height so that the height of the seat is just below your knee cap. Turn and sit in the chair and place your feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be at a comfortable 90° angle when seated in the chair with your feet on the floor, and should not be bent further than that. Note: depending on your gaming style, you may find later that you are slightly more comfortable with your seat height lowered slightly and your legs further out in front of you, and adjust it accordingly. But your knees should never be higher than your hips.
Adjust the tilt of the seat
Sitting in the chair at the correct height, adjust the tilt of the seat so that your pelvis is comfortably below your spine without curving. Keep in mind that when seated in the chair, you should always be able to fit your fist between the front edge of seat of the chair and the backs of your knees.
Adjust the back rest
A gaming chair has a number of ways to adjust the back. When first sitting in the chair, the lumbar support is the most noticeable area that needs adjustment. Move the lumbar cushion so that it fits comfortably in the curve of your lower back.
Adjust the back tilt
You may need to go back and forth between the back tilt and the lumbar cushion to find the right angles for your body. You want the back of the chair to make gentle, supportive contact with the back of your hips and the back of your shoulders (the natural S curve of the spine) with the lumbar cushion fitting into that curve. You should feel as though you are sitting basically upright, but with your head over your shoulders over your pelvis, with everything in alignment, but supported.
Adjust your arm rests
When holding your arm beside you, with the elbow at a 90° angle, the arm rest should just support your weight. The aim is for the arm rest to support your elbow and wrist at this angle, without forcing your shoulders to rise or fall in order to place your elbow on the armrest.
As you can see, you basically want the chair to support a spine that is lined up vertically, arms and knees at a 90° angle, feet resting comfortably on the floor. It's the best way for a gaming chair to work to improve your health and your game.