The Best Gaming Chair That Spells 'Game Over' For Back Pain 

Are nagging aches and pains ruining your computer gaming experience? Then do something about it by getting yourself an ergonomic and supportive gaming chair.

best gaming chair

Playing your favourite video games is a great way to unwind after a hard day. 

And whether you're scoring the winning goal on FIFA, running over pedestrians in GTA5, or leading a mission in Call Of Duty, it can really take your mind off things and bring you a lot of enjoyment. 

However one thing that can ruin your fun when on a marathon gaming session is back pain.

And this is an all too common problem that affects gamers the world over. 

This ​happens for a variety of reasons but mainly because our bodies don't like being sat down in the same position for hours on end.

And especially in chairs that offer no support ​for your back.

But you don't need to suffer this pain, as buying a good quality gaming chair can really help.

As these chairs are ergonomically adjustable, provide good adjustable lumbar support, and encourage you to maintain a healthy sitting posture as you play.

​All of which will work wonders for taking away that nagging back pain.

And in this guide I'll review and recommend the following 3 best gaming chairs for you:

So if you've ever wondered about getting yourself a gaming chair, read on and see which of these suits you the best.

Why Do You Get Back Pain From Gaming?

This should be fun not painful.

As any gamer knows, once you become absorbed in the action the hours can fly past in the blink of an eye.

And while this can be great fun, the addictive game play can also cause you to experience back pain.

This is because when you are gaming you are often sat in the same position for such a long time.

And this is something your body hates!

Because our bodies are designed to move.

As it's through movement and staying active that our muscles and joints stay fit and healthy.

However, when you're sat down playing your favourite game your body remains inactive, and this can lead to the development of lower back pain.

There are 3 reasons why this happens:

  • Your vertebrae become compressed while seated, leading to a weakening of your spinal discs over time.
  • While your core muscles that support your back also weaken from inactivity, meaning your back gets less support.
  • Sitting in an uncomfortable chair or one without adjustable lumbar support can force you to sit in an unhealthy poor posture,  which places extra pressure on your body and spine.

And sitting for long periods can also have the knock on effect of giving you posture problems and pulling your spine out of alignment when you're not playing too.

Which will make life even harder on your back and put it under even greater strain.

But while all this sounds like a total disaster don't despair, because there are ways to avoid these pitfalls which I'll explain.

And rather than being a bad thing, there are some ways that computer gaming can actually be good for your back.

Gaming Can Also Help To Reduce Back Pain

Back pain? What back pain?

Ok, so I know I've been solely focusing on the doom and gloom of gaming for the health of your back up till now.

And you're probably already sick of people telling you that playing video games is a waste of your time.

So the last thing you need is me telling you to quit computer gaming and take up another hobby instead.

Well you're in luck because I'm not going to do that.

As getting lost in a Red Dead Redemption adventure can also really help to reduce your back pain.

And the reason for that is distraction.

Because by focusing on the game as you are playing,  you are distracting your brain away from the pain signals your body is trying to send.

And by doing this you can lower their power and intensity and in turn feel less pain.

This works so well because our brains have a limited capacity to take in the overwhelming amount of sensory information that is constantly around us.

So it automatically gives priority to certain information that it deems most important so it doesn't become overloaded.

And unfortunately pain always gets top billing here, because it's one of the body's ways of alerting your brain to immediate danger.

However by giving it something else to think about instead, you can stop these pain signals from getting through.

And for a gamer there's no better way than getting absorbed in your favourite game.

Also doing something you enjoy will have the added benefit of releasing feel-good endorphins, which are the body's natural painkiller.

A win-win situation!

So you don't need to give up gaming to get rid of back pain.

You just need to learn how to minimise the risks and a good place to start is by investing in an ergonomic and supportive gaming chair.

What You Need To Look For In A Good Gaming Chair

Don't get interrupted in the middle of the action by back pain.

As a gamer you will no doubt be up to date with all the latest technological advancements, gadgets, games, and accessories.

And staying this up to date probably costs you a small fortune right?

You're not alone there. Gaming is an expensive hobby!

However, while most people don't mind shelling out for the latest games and hardware, they tend to overlook the thing they end up using the most.

Which is the chair they sit their backsides on while playing.​

And this is a big mistake.​

Because not only can the right chair make your whole gaming experience more comfortable and enjoyable, it can also help to keep your body healthier too.

So when looking for the best gaming chairs to buy to keep your back healthy and pain-free you need to make sure:

  • It's fully adjustable (armrests and height especially).
  • Has good built in adjustable lumbar support.
  • Contours to your spine to help you maintain a healthy 'S' curve as you sit.
  • Contains durable, supportive, and high quality padding.
  • Is comfortable enough to sit in during long gaming sessions.

As a great chair that takes care of all of the above will go a long way in eliminating back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as muscle stiffness.

And for this reason I'm going to steer clear of recommending rocker-style gaming chairs and instead stick to PC-style gaming chairs.

Because while rockers are comfortable, they are not the best option for your back.

PC-style gaming chairs on the other hand are more ergonomic, offer greater lumbar support, and allow you to maintain a healthy posture as you play.

So I've selected two great chairs at the higher end of the market and also a great value one at the mid-range point so you can pick one depending on your budget.

But I've purposely steered clear of any 'budget' options, as these chairs tend to lack in quality and be more trouble than they're worth.

Seriously, you wouldn't buy inferior gear for your consoles so don't do it with your chair either, as you won't get the true benefits if you do.

So, let's begin with a racing style gaming chair which are popular among gamers, the AKRacing Masters Series Max Gaming Chair.

Best Racing Style Gaming Chair For Back Pain

Features

  • Made of premium faux leather for comfort and durability.
  • High quality steel frame.
  • 3D armrests that are fully adjustable.
  • Class 4 gas lift makes it easy to adjust the height.
  • Tilt and lock mechanism from 90 to 180 degrees.
  • Wider frame chair and 400 lbs weight capacity, so great for larger people.

What's Good For Your Back

  • Has a built-in lumbar support curve to keep you in a healthy posture.
  • Also comes with lumbar and headrest support pillows.
  • Tilt mechanism allows you to rick back and forth, keeping core muscles active.
  • Made of high-density foam that stays supportive as you play.
  • 5-star aluminium castor base spreads the pressure evenly as you sit.

Support & Warranty

  • 10-year warranty on the frame.
  • 5-year warranty on the chair itself.

Why It's Good For Your Back

The AKRacing Masters Series Max gaming chair is a fantastic choice for keeping your back healthy and happy while playing your favourite games.

And it caters for a demographic of people that are most likely to suffer from back pain - taller and larger people.

So it seems like the perfect gaming chair to start with, and it's great for your back for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the contoured shape of the back of the chair is designed to support the natural curve of your spine.

This will help you to maintain a healthy sitting posture and sit with a natural 'S' shaped curve in your spine, which will ease the pressure and strain on your lower back.

You also get a lumbar support cushion that you can place between the back of the chair and your lower back if you need even more support.

The ergonomics on this chair are really good as well, with so many adjustable features.

So, you can easily adjust the seat height to a position where your feet remain flat on the floor, which relieves pressure on your lower back.

And the armrests can be adjusted up and down, forward and back, and rotated inwards and outwards, which is important for taking the strain off your shoulders and upper body too.

The foam padding used in this chair is another big plus for your back, as it has a high-density and is fairly firm, offering good support as you sit on it.

And it's made to hold it's shape well, meaning you'll continue to get great support and comfort for your back for years to come.

There is also a tilt mode which is great for keeping your core muscles active, as it allows you to rock back and forth as you play.

And you can tilt backwards and lock the chair at any angle up to 180 degrees.

Which is great, as reclining like this can really help to relieve any pressure or tension that has built up in your body while you've been playing.

You could even have a nice nap in the reclined position if you need to recharge your batteries!

So if you want a gaming chair that provides plenty of back support, is comfortable, adjustable, and can accommodate larger people, then this chair is where it's at. 

Some Other Cool Chair Features

One feature I really like about this gaming chair is the wide frame, which makes it the best choice for larger people (with a weight capacity up to 400 lbs).

And even if you're not on the large or tall side yourself, this wide frame still makes it a good option.

As it will mean you won't feel constricted or penned in as you sit in it, which can be a problem in other gaming chairs.

And the frame is extremely well-made so it's likely to last you a long time.

In fact they are so confident in the build quality they offer a 10-year warranty on the frame and a 5-year warranty on chair parts which is fantastic.

And there are a few other nice touches to mention.

The high-grade faux leather material feels comfortable to sit on and looks great too.

And while the high-density foam that makes up the chair can feel a bit hard at first due to the level of support it provides, once you get used to it it will feel really comfortable.

It's also a cool foam, so you won't get hot and sweaty while playing your favourite games.

And finally, there is a 5-point aluminium castor base which will give keep you balanced, stable, and spread the pressure evenly as you sit, taking the strain off your back, neck and shoulders.

Our Verdict

I really like the AKRacing Masters Series Max gaming chair for helping to relieve back pain.

As it provides great lumbar support for your back which makes it easier to maintain a healthy sitting posture.

While also keeping your core muscles active with the tilt mechanism.

Also the foam padding is supportive and holds it's shape well.

And it's a comfortable chair to sit in once you get used to it, which will allow you to relax and enjoy your game.

So all in all a great racing series gaming chair that will allow you to focus fully on what's most important....the action on the screen.

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Best Ergonomic Gaming Chair For Back Pain

Features

  • Has a really great look and design.
  • High quality lightweight aluminium alloy frame.
  • Reinforced, breathable DuPont TPEE mesh backing.
  • Class 4 pneumatic gaslift to adjust seat height.
  • Tilt mechanism with 22 lock positions.
  • 2-directional adjustable armrests.
  • Dual spring hub makes it easy to adjust seat height, depth and tilt.

What's Good For Your Back

  • Curved design encourages you to sit with a healthy posture.
  • Has a built-in multi-directional lumbar support that you can adjust to fit your body perfectly.
  • You can also adjust the tilt tension to keep your core muscles active.
  • The reinforced mesh backing gives you great support.
  • 3" lockable castors spread the weight evenly as you sit, keeping you nicely balanced.

Support & Warranty

  • 10-year warranty on the frame.
  • 2-year warranty on the seat and parts.

Why It's Good For Your Back

For those that prefer ergonomic office chairs to do their gaming in, the Vertagear Triigger 350 gaming chair is an absolutely stunning choice that just screams quality.

However it doesn't only look good, it's also a fantastically ergonomic office chair that can be adjusted to fit anyone perfectly.

And it has great built in lumbar support, better than most gaming chairs, which makes it an excellent choice for your back.

This comes in the form of a lumbar cushion built into the mesh backing of the chair, which you can move up and down to get it into the perfect position to support you.

And you can also move it inwards closer to your body, so it's great for staying supported no matter which position or angle you're sitting at.

The seat of the chair is fully adjustable, so you can get the seat height perfect for sitting at your desk while keeping both foot on the floor.

Which relieves pressure on your body, while also increasing blood flow to your muscles.

And you can also adjust the seat depth (moving it backwards and forwards) to make the most of the contoured back of the chair.

Then there is the tilt mechanism, which is a great feature as you can adjust the tension to keep your core muscles active as you sit.

And there are 22 locked tilt positions that you can set when leaning back, depending on which task you are doing.

The reinforced mesh backing of the chair is super strong and helps to spread pressure evenly as you sit against good, supporting you well.

And the two-directional armrests will help to ease the strain on your shoulders, neck, and upper body.

So if you're looking for an ergonomic gaming chair that is comfortable, supportive, and looks great too, then this one is hard to beat.

Some Other Cool Chair Features

One feature that ergonomic type gaming chairs over racing style ones is that they're more comfortable to sit in.

And this one is definitely not the exception.

As the curved design encourages you to sit with a healthy posture, which relieves pressure and increases your comfort.

Also the DuPont TPEE mesh is great for evenly distributing pressure across your body and allowing you to relax.

It also makes it far more breathable and cool to sit on than gaming chairs that contain padded foam.

And the fact you can adjust almost every detail of this chair so it fits you like a glove will just send the comfort levels through the roof.

The frame itself is a good one, being lightweight and durable, and comes with a 10-year warranty.

And there are 5 lockable, hubless castors to keep you balanced and stable.

Our Verdict

I think the Vertagear Triigger 350 gaming chair is a fantastic choice for anyone that enjoys sitting in ergonomic office chairs while gaming, rather than a padded racing style one.

As it has outstanding lumbar support, is really comfortable, and looks absolutely stunning.

The tilt mechanism is great for keeping your core muscles active, while the reinforced mesh backing provides great support and pressure relieving qualities.

On top of this the curved design will help you to maintain a healthy posture as you play.

So while it's not the cheapest gaming chair out there, I think it's definitely worth it if you have the cash spare to treat yourself.​

As it can help to keep your back healthy for years to come.

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Best Value Gaming Chair For Back Pain

Features

  • Breathable PVC leather cover for comfort and durability.
  • Durable steel frame.
  • 4D armrests that are fully adjustable.
  • Class 4 gas lift makes it easy to adjust the height.
  • Tilt and lock mechanism from 80 to 140 degrees.

What's Good For Your Back

  • Made with high-density foam padding for great support.
  • Also comes with lumbar and headrest pillows.
  • Has a high backrest for neck, shoulder, and upper body support.
  • Tilt mechanism allows you to rock in the chair, keeping core muscles active.
  • 5-point aluminium castor base spreads pressure evenly as you sit.

Support & Warranty

  • 10-year warranty on the frame.
  • 2-year warranty on parts.

Why It's Good For Your Back

The Vertagear SL5000 gaming chair is a decent value choice at the mid-range price point if you want a gaming chair with a reasonable price tag that can get rid of back pain while playing.

And while there's no built-in lumbar support with this one, it does still have some great features that can give your back the support it needs.

The first thing that does this is the high-density foam padding in the seat and back of the chair, which keeps you well supported as you sit.

And you also get a lumbar support cushion which you can place between the back of the chair and your lower back to encourage you to maintain a healthy sitting posture.

The height of the seat can also be adjusted so you get to keep both feet flat on the floor as you play, which takes pressure and strain off your lower spine.

And the 4D armrests can be adjusted up and down, forward and back, in and out, and side to side, so you can take the strain off your shoulders in every position too.

There is also a tilt mechanism which allows you to adjust the tension as you lean back and lets you rock backwards and forwards.

And this is great for your back, as it keeps your back-supporting core muscles active while you sit and prevents them from weakening.

This chair also has a tilt and lock option that allows you to change the angle from anywhere between 80 to 140 degrees.

Meaning you can lean back and relieve any pressure and tension that has built up, so you can rest and relax for a bit.

So while the lack of built in lumbar support in this chair is a pity, it's more than made up for by these other plus points.

Some Other Cool Chair Features

The video above gives a really good overview of what the Vertagear SL5000 gaming chair is all about.

First impressions are it's a really good looking chair, and the PVC leather covering doesn't just look good, it's also breathable in the seat area to stop you from getting too hot.

The steel frame is very solid and durable too, and is covered by a 10-year warranty.

However the high-density foam that makes up the chair can feel a bit too firm and uncomfortable at first if you're used to gaming on softer chairs.

But this firmness is what gives you great support, and it also helps you to maintain a healthy posture.

So persevere and it will feel much nicer once you have been using it for a while.

The high backrest is great for supporting your neck, shoulders, and upper spine, which will help you to relax and enjoy your game.

And finally, there is a 5-point aluminium castor base so you have balance and stability, spreading pressure evenly as you sit.

However one thing to note is that this isn't as wide as the previous two chairs in this review so may not be suited to larger individuals.

It does still have a top weight limit of 330lbs but the width of the chair may mean that at close to this weight you may feel a bit constricted and uncomfortable.

Also the height of the chair is quite low even at it's maximum so it may not be the best fit for anyone 6ft plus.

Our Verdict

Overall the Vertagear SL5000 is a great gaming chair for back support and helping you to maintain a healthy posture.

And it's a good option if you want to save some money rather than buying a top of the range chair.

However, it does lack the contoured lumbar support that these more expensive chairs give you.

And it isn't as wide as the previous two chairs in this review, so may not be suited to larger individuals.

Also the height of the chair is quite low even at it's maximum, so it may not be the best fit for anyone 6ft plus.

But for those that fit within it's dimensions, you'll get a really supportive chair that can help to improve your whole gaming experience.

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Other Ways To Avoid Back Pain While Gaming

The 3 gaming chairs I've shown you in this article are all great, and each one will be a big help for your back.

However, just getting yourself a high quality gaming chair isn't going to be enough to avoid back pain.

As you also need to learn and adopt some healthy sitting habits that will protect your back as you play.

So try and incorporate the following 4 tips into your gaming sessions and see if it makes a difference.

Hit The Pause Button And Take Regular Microbreaks

Put the controller down and get your body moving every so often.

As I've already mentioned, the biggest problem for your back when playing video games is the length of time you spend sitting in the same position.

However, you can greatly reduce these negative effects if you get into the habit of getting up and moving around for a few minutes every hour.

As by taking little 'microbreaks' from your controller, you can release the build up of pressure and tension in your body.

But just getting up out of your chair to make a coffee or grab a beer isn't enough.​

As you need to get your body moving to reawaken dormant muscles, decompress your vertebrae, and get your blood circulating again.

​So go for a little walk or practice a few stretches instead.

In fact, stretching regularly is a great thing to do as it will make your more flexible and improve your posture.

Which will mean less strain on your body and less back pain for you.

And the video below should help you with a few ideas on which stretches you can do:

By getting into the habit of doing this regularly you can make a big difference to your whole experience of long gaming sessions.

So try not to get so absorbed in the action that you forget to stop once an hour, as this will really help to keep your back in better shape.

And remember that the pause button is for more than just taking a toilet break or getting a snack from the kitchen!

Mix Things Up By Playing Active Games Too

Another way to relieve built-up muscle tension and get your blood circulating again is to get off the couch and play a more active game instead. 

This will have a similar effect to taking a microbreak and having a good stretch but will be much more fun to do.

And devices like the Kinect Sensor for Xbox and the PlayStation Move make it easy to play active games, whether these are based on fitness, sports, or just fun.

So ​make use of them by working up a sweat for 20 minutes or so every so often.

You can then get back in your gaming chair and resume your serious gameplay, with your body and mind fresh and ready to go again.

Plus it'll be good for your overall health too.

Stay Active Away From The Console

Getting some vitamin D once in a while won't hurt you.

Speaking of your overall health, staying active is a fantastic way to keep your back strong and pain free.

And it can really help to train your back to endure long gaming marathons.

This is because getting regular exercise will:

  • Strengthen the muscles which support your back.
  • Improve your flexibility meaning you'll experience less muscle tightness.
  • Increase circulation which helps to keep your muscles and tissues healthy.
  • Release endorphins which allows your body to fight pain naturally.

Which are all great reasons for using your time away from the console to get some exercise in.

And you don't need to go for gold and overdo things either.

As studies have shown that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-4 times per week was enough to reduce pain levels in people with chronic lower back pain.

Just make sure you are getting a mixture of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise and you're golden.

As a strong and healthy back will be able to withstand much more in your gaming chair than a weaker one.

And the added bonus is that getting regular exercise will help to improve your mood and concentration levels too.

Which means it could even improve your skill levels and gaming performance!

Click here for 9 exercise activities that are proven to help people with back pain.

Maintain A Healthy Seated Posture

It's so easy to get so absorbed in the game that you don't even realise how bad your sitting posture has become.

And whether that is by curling up on the couch, sitting on the floor, or instinctively leaning forward to get closer to the screen, it can put your back under much more pressure and strain.

So you really need to become aware of how you are sitting as you play.

Now using a good quality gaming chair like the ones we've featured in this article will go a long way to fixing this problem.

As they are shaped to encourage you to maintain a healthy posture.

But you also need to make a conscious effort to get into the habit of sitting in the right way.

And some of the main things to remember are:

  • Try to maintain a slight arch in your lower back rather than allowing it to flatten against the back of the chair.
  • Sit with a slight 'S' shaped curve in your spine rather than a 'C' shaped curve.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground with your knees and hips at a 90 degree angle to take the pressure off your lower back.
  • Don't slouch or lean forward.
  • Position your monitor or screen straight ahead of you and at a height where you can look straight at it rather than down or up.

Now some of these things may feel strange and uncomfortable to do at first, but your body will soon adapt to them.

And for some more ideas specific to gamers, check out the video below:

Rounding Up

Gaming is a great hobby that can sharpen your mind, reflexes, and problem solving skills, as well as help you to relax and unwind.

And it can also do a great job of distracting you from back pain.

However, sitting in the same position for endless hours of gameplay can also cause havoc for your back.

And give you nagging aches and pains that spoil your whole experience.

​So to avoid this you need to learn and adopt healthy habits that will help you cope with the dangers of sitting.

And one of the best things you can do is use a good quality gaming chair that is back friendly.

Because this will give you great lumbar support, help you to maintain a healthy seated posture, and relieve the pressure on your body.

So I hope that you have found a gaming chair that you like among the 3 that I've recommended here.

As these are all great for your back.

And this way the only 'Game Over' you'll see is on the screen, not in the health of your back.


Resources used in researching this article:

https://www.geek.com/games/how-gamers-can-relieve-lower-back-pain-1704986/

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Daniel

I'm a Painter and Decorator, psychology graduate, and veteran of 5 spinal surgeries. I want to help my fellow construction workers to fight back against persistent back pain like I have.

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