Many people will have heard that ergonomics in the workplace – i.e. at the desk – has a major impact on health and well-being.
Of course, passionate gamers often have a typical office job at a desk alongside their hobby. It is therefore even more important for them to ensure that their gaming and workstation is ergonomically designed.
A desk that is at the ideal height can even have a positive impact on performance in the long term, both when gaming and working. However, if the desk is not ideally adjusted, discomfort often occurs in the shoulders, neck and hands. In this context, it is unfortunately not enough to simply adjust the height of the chair.
The following article explains in detail what needs to be considered in order to make the ergonomics at the gaming and workstation as ideal as possible.
The height of the desk
Most desks have a standard height of 72 centimetres. However, this standard measurement does not, of course, take into account the fact that the height of people or potential users of the desk can vary greatly.
A height of 72 centimetres is actually suitable for people who are around 180 centimetres tall. However, if your own height is above or below this value, the standard height is not ideal. More and more experts are now pointing out that there is no single correct height for desks. What does exist, however, is an ideal sitting posture. This relieves a great deal of strain on the body. However, it should be emphasized that you should not remain still for too long in any posture.
The current trend towards standing work should also not be neglected. More and more employees are doing their work standing up for a certain amount of time during the day. This is possible at a standing desk or a desk that allows a very wide height adjustment.
What is an ergonomic desk height?
There is no standing or sitting position at a desk that is considered wrong per se. The only thing that matters is that the posture is changed at regular intervals. This is also known as dynamic sitting or dynamic standing.
Of course, it should not be neglected that each of the positions adopted should always feel comfortable. Ergonomics means that the body is placed in a position in which the muscles experience as little strain as possible.
The monitor setting also plays a role here. For an ergonomically recommended sitting position, the eyes should be level with the top edge of the screen. The tabletop should be level with the navel. Your shoulders and arms should be relaxed on the desk so that they are in a lowered position.
Anyone who now realizes that their existing desk does not meet these criteria should look for a more suitable model for the sake of their health and performance. What many people don’t know: A height-adjustable desk may even be subsidized by the employer or health insurance company. Possible tax benefits should also be checked when making a purchase.
How to adjust the desk height
In principle, however, there are various ways to change the height of the desk.
For example, books or wooden blocks can be placed under the legs of the desk, which raises the desk. Height-adjustable desk tops are also available on the market. However, these are not necessarily recommended for gamers, as they do not provide sufficient stability to securely fix the individual setup.
The best solution is undoubtedly a height-adjustable desk. The height of the models can then be flexibly adjusted either manually or with electrical support to suit individual requirements. However, it should be noted that not every height-adjustable desk can be adjusted to less than 70 centimetres. If your height is quite small, it is therefore essential to check this option before making your final purchase decision.
For gamers, cable management also plays an important role in their desk, so this should not be ignored even with a height-adjustable desk.
Adjusting the monitor correctly
When adjusting their desk or setting up their workstation, many people overlook the fact that the monitor setting also influences ergonomics. On the other hand, the desk or its height also influences the viewing angle of the monitor.
In principle, the monitor should be set up at a height that ensures ideal contact between the display and the eyes. This significantly reduces the strain on the eyes while playing games or working on the screen. The top quarter of the monitor should be at eye level. In terms of the appropriate distance between the screen and the eyes, an arm’s length and a hand’s length are recommended. The monitor should also be tilted slightly backwards.
For gamers, however, the game genre is also decisive for the correct monitor setting. For first-person shooters in particular, many gamers place their screen as close to their eyes as possible in order to be able to identify their opponents more quickly. Those who prefer strategy games, on the other hand, like to place their monitor further away so that they have a better overview.
A monitor mount is a great help in this context. It allows you to quickly find the ideal screen height. It can also be flexibly adjusted depending on the current screen activity.
The consequences of a desk that is too high or too low
If the height of the desk is too high, users often pull their shoulders upwards. If this posture is maintained for hours on end, there is a high risk of spinal complaints in the long term.
As the arms are also constantly pushed upwards by a desk that is too high, the blood supply in this area is impaired. As a result, arm movements are generally slower, which can be a major disadvantage for gamers in particular during gaming. The fact that the neck and throat muscles are constantly tense should also not be neglected. This in turn often leads to headaches and concentration problems.
However, it would also not make sense to work at a desk that is set too low. In this case, the spine has to be bent. In addition, the shoulders become very tense if a bent posture is assumed for a long period of time. If the desk is not high enough, the forearms cannot be placed on the tabletop in a relaxed position. This also often leads to pain over a longer period of time, and gamers’ control when aiming also suffers due to the additional tension.