How much time do you spend gaming each week? Research shows gamers on average spend about 7 hours per week at their battlestation. If that estimate sounds low to you, you’re not alone - it sounds low to us, too. Keep in mind that’s also a pre-pandemic number, and we all know gaming has been on the rise during the year of staying home.
Either way, that’s a lot of time to be sitting at your computer, especially if you’re hunched over or straining your neck, arms or shoulders. Plus, if you also work from home or are doing school remotely like many of us are these days, you can add another 40 plus hours to that figure. Does this mean our generation is just doomed to have poor posture and chronic pain? No. It does, however, mean that it’s definitely time to upgrade your desk setup and get comfortable.
The good news is, some of the most effective and ergonomic changes you can make are easy and fairly inexpensive - or even better, free. Adds like lower back support, a riser for your monitor or laptop and a wrist rest are some of the biggest game changers
Make sure your screen is at eye level
If your PC has a monitor and separate external keyboard, you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to optimizing ergonomics. Place it about an arms length away towards the back of your desk or table. If your head has to tilt down towards the screen, it’s too low. Consider adding a monitor riser - alternatively, a stack of books will also do the trick and this helps you find the perfect height for you personally.
Invest in a good keyboard
If on a laptop, get a laptop stand that raises the screen to eye level. Add an external keyboard like Element which will connect to your PC laptop via USB. Throw in a bluetooth mouse and you’re golden. Place both near the edge of your desk or table closest to you. You shouldn't need to reach forward too much, and this is what causes most of us to hunch. Instead, the keyboard and mouse should be lined up with the natural placement of your hands when they are extended at a slightly larger than 90 degree angle from your upper arm.
Consider wrist placement... it matters
Ideally, your forearms and wrists should lay flush with the edge of your desk, without having to be at an awkward upward or downward angle as either will create wrist strain. If you have an adjustable chair, raise it to make this happen. If your feet are no longer touching the floor or your legs now feel strained, try adding a foot rest (again, get creative with textbooks you no longer use all the time, stacks of printer paper or a sturdy box). This video offers the ideal layout that you should be aiming for.
Don’t forget a wrist rest
Wrist placement is vital to avoid strain which can cause issues like tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. An easy and affordable way to ease wrist discomfort is adding a foam wrist rest - check out our Padded Wrist Rest which offers two different thickness options to get the perfect fit.
For some additional tips and ideas, we like this article from PCMag.