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What makes a gaming chair ergonomic? Secretlab Ergonomics Advisory Board member, Dr. Jordan Tsai gives us the lowdown.

By June 14, 2022 February 27th, 2023 No Comments

We recently held an “Ask Me Anything” session with Dr. Jordan Tsai, esports physical therapist (Respawn Therapy) for Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses, and a member of our independently assembled Secretlab Ergonomics Advisory Board. The community posed questions about gaming chairs, getting the right posture while sitting all-day, and what really makes a gaming chair ergonomic.

We captured the highlights for easy reference. Read on!

What makes a chair ergonomic?

Ergonomics refer to the adjustability of a chair to match an individual user’s needs and preferences.

The Secretlab TITAN Evo has 4D armrests that go up and down, in and out, and forward and backward. There’s a full range of adjustability to fit an individual’s shoulder and elbow height requirements. The backrest of the chair is also highly adjustable, with the ability to go forward and back, and comes with a built-in lumbar support that can be adjusted up and down, as well as inward and outward.

That’s really nice because not everyone is built the same and having the adjustability to match your individual needs is really the most important thing.

Is there a correct posture for gaming?

There are two types of sitting postures:

1. Relaxed posture

This is achieved when you lean back against your gaming chair’s backrest. You’re likely chilling on your computer, watching videos — nothing too active or strenuous.

2. Active posture

This is achieved when you’re engaged in-game, or simply focused at your tasks. I usually recommend that players sit on the front half of their seat and have their feet placed flat on the floor, when in this position. What this does is naturally straighten out your back and neck.

Is my back pain a result of how I sit, or is it caused by my gaming chair?

The right gaming chair should allow one to achieve a proper sitting position. It’s critical to find a gaming chair with enough adjustability to accommodate your individual needs.

But even a great chair won’t overcome bad habits or posture. You need to make an effort to regularly stretch and move your back!

Gaming chairs are a gimmick and crazy expensive. Can you recommend good office chairs?

Quality gaming chairs provide the comfort and support you need for long hours of sitting — fulfilling what office chairs set out to do and more.

A good gaming chair like the TITAN Evo has a firmer seat base than the mesh seat base commonly found in traditional office chairs. Here’s why:

  1. It allows users to alternate between the two postures I previously mentioned — active versus relaxed.
  2. It has a firmer seat base. You can sit on the front half of the chair and not feel like you’re falling off from it. It feels supportive and has a gentle slope so it’s comfortable. If I were to sit like this on a mesh chair or a chair with a softer foam seat base (commonly found in traditional office chairs), I would start sliding off. It’s a little too angled and it doesn’t feel very secure.

Is it healthy to cross-legged?

Sitting cross legged is not inherently bad.

The most important thing is to change positions ever so often — I recommend doing so every hour. The nice thing about the TITAN Evo is that it’s already designed for natural movement and different sitting positions!

Where should the lumbar support of my chair sit?

The lumbar support should hit right in the middle of your back. It should not be down your hips or at your mid back. If we identify that the curvature is where we want our back support, the lumbar support has to match that.

The nice thing about the TITAN Evo is you can adjust the height and the depth of your lumbar support. First, adjust it to the right height (high or low), checking if it’s sitting right at the center where the curvature of your back is. Next, figure out how far in or how far back you want it so it feels comfortable.

You don’t want your lumbar support to be in an overly extended position — if it sits too far out, it can create discomfort. You don’t want it to be nonexistent either or you’ll be rounding your back. Ideally, if you sit with a good neutral back position, your lumbar support should perfectly match.

Do you approve of Secretlab’s built-in lumbar support? Is it good?

I’m a huge fan of the adjustable, built-in lumbar support on the TITAN Evo.

It allows both depth and vertical adjustments to match every user’s ergonomic needs.

What is Dr. Tsai’s favorite Secretlab chair design(other than the Evil Geniuses Edition)?

I personally love my Stealth but if I had to pick another, it’d be the Dark Knight Edition. I’m just partial to all black!

Shop the designs:
Secretlab TITAN Evo in Stealth | Dark Knight Edition | Evil Geniuses Edition

Is it bad to recline too much in chairs?

Nope! Just make sure that you are changing positions every hour or so, and that you’re not keeping your neck bent while reclining.

Original questions and answers have been tweaked for brevity. View the full AMA on the Highlight tab of our Instagram here.