Ergonomics is an important part of competitive gaming. Esports athletes, or gamers, are prone to injury if they don’t practice good posture. Learn how posture can affect your game.
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What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics refers to the safe and comfortable positioning of a person’s body in their surroundings. This can play a role in any activity but most often has to do with the workplace.
Your gaming performance as a whole depends on your comfort level at your work or gaming station and access to what you need. You also need to see what you need to accomplish, keep your breathing calm, and limit distractions around you.
Whether you’re working a desk job, competing in esports, or doing anything else in one position for some time, ergonomics is key.
How Can Gamers Improve Posture?
Esports participants who want to play their best should take their competition space very seriously. Their setup will allow for proper posture and easy access to the screen and gaming device/controller.
Sitting for a long time in deep concentration is often hard on the body. Athletes can practice ergonomic gaming by:
- Purchasing an ergonomic gaming or office chair.
- Adjusting the chair so that the headrest straightens the neck and supports the head.
- Changing the lumbar support in the chair to support the lower back.
- Adjusting the height of the chair so the legs are at a 90-degree angle and the feet are flat on the floor.
- Positioning the TV or monitor about 2 feet away from the eyes with the middle of the screen at eye level. This way, they can see without straining or having to tilt the head or neck.
- Sitting up straight with the shoulders pushed back and down in a natural and comfortable posture (as opposed to slouching forward).
- Avoiding crossing the legs or folding the legs up onto the chair.
- Keeping the controller, mouse, or keyboard in a position where the wrists are straight as opposed to arching the wrists up or down.
- Skipping a headset or wearing one that doesn’t cause discomfort to the head or ears.
Benefits of Proper Gaming Posture
The top causes of esports injuries are poor posture, overuse, and lack of conditioning. Practicing proper gaming posture is often a game changer for amateur and pro gamers alike. Without a proper setup, gamers are especially prone to:
- Eyestrain and fatigue.
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis/radial styloid tenosynovitis/gamer’s thumb.
- Hand cramps and injuries.
- Wrist conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Tendonitis in the forearms.
- Shoulder stiffness.
- Back and neck pain.
Good posture and proper equipment can help you avoid injury and perform better in practice and competition. So can esports exercises, taking breaks, following a sports nutrition program, and working with a sports performance coach.
Techniques like soft tissue hygiene and balloon breathing can help gamers release tension and enhance relaxation, concentration, and range of motion.
Athletic trainers at UPMC Sports Medicine serve competitive esports teams across the region. Our sports performance experts have extensive training in human movement and posture for performance.
About Sports Medicine
An athletic lifestyle carries the potential for injury. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, our multidisciplinary team of experts can help you get back into the game. If you are seeking to improve your athletic performance, we can work with you to meet your goals. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our goal is to help you keep doing what you love. Visit our website to find a specialist near you.