Gaming chair or office chair, it’s a debate that is still going on. The two chairs seem to have very fundamental differences in terms of design and feel. While a gaming chair is designed with ergonomics in mind, an office chair seems to be nothing more than a normal chair with wheels.
Some may argue that there is no difference between the two chairs in terms of comfort, but that’s not entirely true. Let’s take a closer look at the ergonomic design of gaming chairs and what makes them so special compared to an office chair.
Gaming Chairs & Posture
Posture is very important when it comes to maintaining good health, which explains why ergonomic chairs are getting more and more popular these days. While it’s certainly possible to play games with bad posture, your body will not be able to handle the stress for too long.
Back pain, neck pain, shoulder ache, or any other discomfort may arise due to bad posture while sitting in front of your computer. Gaming chair has features built into the design that ensures proper body alignment to prevent these types of pains.
The backrest is usually made in an L-shaped style so it follows your spine’s curve. By doing so, it allows your lower back to get fully supported by the chair instead of just sitting on it with all your weight. The higher part of the backrest at the upper end is there to support your neck, which restricts unnecessary movement from side to side.
The armrests are adjustable as well to provide maximum comfort for those who have a wider build or simply prefer the armrest slightly higher. There’s also a degree of freedom when it comes to adjusting the height of the chair. This way you can set the chair according to your own height, which is important for maximum comfort.
As you may have noticed, none of these features are available on your average office chair. While some models do offer some level of adjustability, it’s usually limited to tilting forward or backward and adjusting the seat height. You will not find any other features that would allow you to improve your posture.
Gaming Chairs & Lumbar Support
It’s also important to know that there are different types of backrests when it comes to ergonomic chairs. The one you were talking about is lumbar support, which is usually very helpful in preventing lower back pain. It works by slightly pushing your lower back forward and supporting it in that position to prevent it from getting tired or hurt.
It’s a common misconception that only gaming chairs come with built-in lumbar support, which is simply not true. Most ergonomic chairs have this feature available, but you’ll have to do some research when choosing the right office chair.
Gaming Chairs & Padded Armrests
There is a difference between padded and non-padded armrests as well. While both of them are adjustable, only those that come with padding can be enjoyable to use for longer periods of time. The padding provides extra comfort and reduces the chance of getting arm fatigue or ache after a long gaming session.
Office armrests are usually narrow and not very long to accommodate users of different builds, but nobody complains about that. Unfortunately, even though there is padding available on some office chairs it’s usually not enough to provide decent comfort over longer periods of time.
Gaming Chairs & Thick Padding
Cheap gaming or office chairs usually have very thin padding which can get uncomfortable rather quickly. It’s pretty much a standard nowadays that any gaming chair is going to have at least two inches of thick padding for your bottom and back.
Some chairs even offer more than that, with three or four inches of extra thickness that ensures maximum comfort when sitting in front of the computer. On the other hand, an office chair with thin padding may not be the best choice when you’re planning to play games for an extended time.
Gaming Chairs & Reclining Backrest
The backrest is also an important part of gaming chairs, as it can tilt backward and forward to provide extra comfort. When you lean your back against the chair it will slightly recline, making your body more relaxed and less tense during gameplay.
On the other hand, an office chair without adjustable back support isn’t going to be very helpful when it comes to gaming. The backrest is usually limited to 180 degrees, further limiting the chance of getting any real support for your back or neck.
Some models even offer only 90 degrees of recline, which won’t change much unless you lean all the way forward. However, if you have lumbar support available in your chair it will prevent you from leaning too forward even with a limited recline.
Gaming Chairs & Wheelbase
Another difference between gaming chairs and office ones is the wheelbase that they have. The difference in quality becomes apparent when you’re trying to roll them around, as office chairs usually come with cheap plastic wheels that tend to get stuck rather easily.
On the other hand, you should expect metal rollers on any modern gaming chair that can smoothly glide across your carpet or hardwood floor. You don’t want to interrupt your game just because you had to struggle with pushing your office chair around.
Gaming Chairs & Chair Design
But probably the biggest difference between these two types of chairs is the design. While an ergonomic office chair typically looks like an “office chair”, gaming ones are designed with gamers in mind. They usually feature bright contrasting colors, aggressive shapes, and even light effects on some models to make your gaming station look cooler.
The majority of gaming chairs are very comfortable as well, but they rely more on features like reclining backrests, padded armrests, and adjustable seats. The designs are usually quite bulky as well, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Office chairs come in more subtle colors, with typically no or very few contrasting elements on the design. They’re looking much cleaner and more professional, which is good when you’re using them in the office as well.
Office chairs are also quite heavy, as they have to support the weight of a fully grown adult male for extended periods of time. On the other hand, most gaming chairs weigh around 50-60 lbs which are definitely manageable on your own.
Gaming Chairs or Office Chairs?
The one thing that you should remember about these two types of chairs is that they are quite different. You can’t expect to get the same level of comfort from a gaming chair as you would from an office one, even though there are some models that manage to provide great support for your back and neck.
The main thing you should do before buying any type of chair is to decide what exactly you’re looking for. If you just want something that you can use occasionally at your desk, then an office chair might be a better choice. However, if you’re planning to spend many hours sitting in front of your PC or console then a gaming chair is definitely the way to go.
The good thing about modern models is that they can be easily adjusted in terms of height and reclining angle, making them a great choice for everyone. You can find both kinds in a wide range of price categories as well, so you have nothing to worry about there.
Most importantly, you should try sitting in any chair before buying it. The best way to do that is to go into the store and test them out, but you can also have a look at online listings that are offering both office chairs or gaming chairs for sale.
At the end of the day, whether to pick an office chair or a gaming one is up to you. Just keep in mind that comfort comes first, so don’t get tricked into buying something just because it looks cool.
If you do a bit of research before buying either one, you should be fine in the long run. You can find some great deals when shopping for office or gaming chairs on Amazon, Craigslist, or your local listings websites.
We hope that you enjoyed our article about the difference between gaming chairs and office chairs. Please don’t forget to share it with your friends if you found it helpful!