It sometimes feels as if our desk chairs are trying to kill us.
Many of us fidget in a perpetual state of discomfort, trying to find that one ever-elusive position in which our back won’t eventually cry out in fury. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as many as 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives, and nearly a quarter of Americans experienced back pain within the past three weeks. Back pain from unhealthy sitting can even lead to disc degeneration, poor blood pressure, and pinched nerves.
Given that many American adults spend more than six hours a day on their butt, it’s reasonable to expect that buying a fancy chair will alleviate at least some of this misery. Gamers, who are particularly accustomed to sitting and its attendant problems, swear by gaming chairs, a new breed of throne, modeled after race car seats and theoretically designed with long-term sitting in mind. The famous (and problematic) gaming YouTuber PewDiePie even designed his own for the gaming chair brand Clutch Chairz.
Yet gaming chairs can be expensive, running sometimes into thousands of dollars, and their distinct style — with brightly colored stripes and a race car seat shape — may not appeal to everyone. Is it really worth shelling out several hundred dollars and making your desk look like an esports dungeon, all in the interest of less back pain?
The answer is yes, assuming you get the right one and factor in other healthy habits. Gaming chairs, in contrast to whatever cheap Staples junk your office might offer, may actually provide a healthy amount of support if you really must sit for hours on end.
The headrest and tall back are two defining features of gaming chairs, earning the commendations of Jeffrey Goldstein, an orthopedic surgeon at New York University
Matthew Gault, a freelance writer based in South Carolina, says he purchased the $500 Maxnomic Ergoceptor…