IMPROVE Your Setup – The Gamer’s Guide to Ergonomics

IMPROVE Your Setup – The Gamer’s Guide to Ergonomics


– What’s up guys, welcome back once again to the Gaming
Career’s YouTube channel. Today’s video, we’re going
to be covering a topic that is so often overlooked
but is incredibly important. I am constantly hearing
about gamers, streamers, and even esports
professionals who are having to retire or take serious
action just to fix an injury that could have been
prevented from the very start. In this video we’re going to be covering how you can set up your streaming station in a more ergonomic
way, so you can prolong your gaming career and
prevent long-term injuries. I know that some of you
might might not think it’s the most exciting
topic to cover in a video, but it’s just so incredibly
important and it really just takes ten minutes
to make some big changes and greatly reduce your
risk of a long-term injury. Now there are several
different topics that need to be covered when we’re
talking about health as a streamer, this obviously what we’re going to be covering today,
which is the ergonomics. Things like your desk, your
seat, your monitor height, your keyboard and mouse and how those should be better positioned for your body. And there’s also things about exercise, there’s things about diet, caffeine, as well as the massive topic,
which is mental health. And all of those we’re going to
be covering in future videos. This video is specifically
going to be talking about the ergonomics of
your streaming setup. So we’ll get to all of
the setup, monitors, desk, keyboard and mouse, your
chair and the positioning of all those items to be best for you after a quick message from our sponsor. Nerd or Die has just released
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ten percent off at checkout. So to get started, let’s talk
about what is ergonomics? Why does it matter? To put it as simply as possible, ergonomics is about
creating an environment that reduces the stress on
the body and improves comfort by helping it to assume
the most optimal posture. In these positions our bodies and muscles are able to maintain an upright position, with as little work as possible. Thus minimizing the risk of injury, pain, stiffness, and overall poor health. So the four main aspects
of your streaming center that we’re going to be
adjusting for ergonomic design is your monitor, your keyboard and mouse, your chair, and finally, your desk. So let’s get started with your monitor and talk about monitor height. Now ideally you want to
raise your monitor up so that your eyes are level with the top 25 percent of
the monitor’s display. You should also, if possible, slightly tilt back the monitor. This ensures that you don’t need to make large neck movements to be able to look at all four corners of your monitor. Many games nowadays put
vital hood information in the bottom or the top corners, which you need to
constantly be looking at. Setting your monitor up in this way allows some of the more common areas of the monitor to be
less visually straining. Now the dangers of setting your monitor too high is that it will require you to use your upper neck to look up. And monitors that are set too low, which is the more common
issue, is that you’re going to get that forward head posture that is so often associated with gamers. Now in terms of distance,
there’s a balance that needs to be made for the distance that you sit away from your monitor. You want to sit far enough
away that you can see all four corners of your
monitor like we discussed, without requiring too much head movement. But you also don’t want to sit so far away that you lose the detail from your game, which may be required for
you to perform your best. A general rule of thumb
is that your monitor should be roughly an arms length away. And you can plus or minus
the length of your here. So somewhere around an arm lengths away from where you are sitting. Now most monitors as you buy them, the stands that they
come with don’t usually offer that much adjustability,
certainly in terms of height, which is the biggest problem. So if you have some old
textbooks lying around from university, from school,
it’s worth stacking them and putting them underneath
your monitor stand to raise it to that eye
level that I talked about. For more flexibility and
a cleaner looking setup, I’d recommend picking up some
vesa mounts for your monitor, which will allow you to
adjust height as well as the vertical and horizontal
tilt, and even possibly the orientation if you ever wanted to use a vertical monitor for Twitch
Chat or something similar. They can be found for relatively cheap on sites like Amazon and they
come in various configurations for single, double, or
even triple monitor setups. I’ll link some of my favorites
that I have used before in the description of this video. So if you do want to
check out a vesa mount, do go and look at the description and check out some of the links I have there. The only thing you need to consider that the monitor that you have,
is it vesa mount compatible. And if so, is what is the dimensions? Usually, monitors are
either vesa 100 or vesa 75, and that just means how far the distance between the screw holes
is, 100 millimeters or 75 millimeters. So just check that info
before purchasing one. Okay, so monitor done, now let’s look at the keyboard and mouse. And the vast, vast majority
of injuries that come to esports professionals, or streamers, or just gamers in general are things like carpal tunnel or RSI, and they are completely related to the wrist. And before we look at why, I
just want to quickly cover, I do have a big scar on my wrist and I know it’s going to
get some comments about it. It wasn’t from a game related injury, it was actually from a skiing injury, and I had some surgery
on it a few years ago. But I just wanted to clear that up in case anybody thought I had
any of these injuries like carpal tunnel or RSI
and had surgery to fix it. It has meant, however, that I am even more careful and aware of my
wrist position when gaming. So the most important
thing to implement here is that you are holding your
mouse in a neutral position. So what that means is that
your wrist isn’t rotated either towards your thumb or rotated towards your pinky or little finger. Those major injuries
like carpal tunnel or RSI that I talked about
that happen to streamers and esport professionals
or just gamers that spend a lot of time sat in
front of their computer. They usually come from having a non-neutral starting
point for their mouse. Although it doesn’t seem like much, a small extra rotation
when multiplied many times over months or years of gaming can cause painful and restrictive wrist injuries, which can prevent you
from gaming in the future. So giving it just a little bit of though to your mouse and it’s position now might be a very worthwhile investment. Prevention is always better than cure and you don’t want to look
back in five or ten years time and wish you’d taken more
care of your wrist and hand. In terms of actually
how you hold your mouse, I’m sure some of you may have heard of the three main mouse grips. Palm grip where most of your palm and the under part of your hand is
in contact with the mouse. Claw grip where you have
a gap between the mouse and your hand, and you’re actually using the ends of your fingers
to click on the buttons. And finally, fingertip grip
where less of the mouse is in contact with your hand, your hand’s a little bit further back and again you’re using your fingertips
to click the buttons. How you grip your mouse is largely down to the size of your hands, the size and the shape of your mouse,
and just general preference. The claw and fingertip
grip styles will use more muscles then the palm grip, therefore do have a slightly
higher risk of injury. As long as you’re remembering to position your wrist neutrally, these
increased risks are minimal and so your grip style shouldn’t
really be a deciding factor. I would however recommend
that you get a mouse that is right for your hand
and not just using something because it was cheap or because
it was on a special deal. So I will recommend a channel
down in the description below, it’s called Rocket Jump Ninja. It’s a guy who reviews pretty
much every gaming mouse available on the market,
and really goes in depth. It’s been a fantastic resource for me, I’ve watched him for many
year and I’ll leave a link down in the description
below if you’re interested in looking for a new mouse and wondering what would fit your hand best. Now the same whole thing
about the positioning of your wrists also
applies to your other hand, which is going to be
touching your keyboard. Make sure your wrist is neutral. So if you are using the
WASD like most games are set to default as your
movement keys on your keyboard, imagine a straight line
running up your wrist, along your middle finger to the W key. That neutral position will
help prevent injuries. Okay so moving on to
the chair that you use for your gaming or streaming setup. And I’m sure you’re aware,
there are countless companies now making these gaming chairs
and they sponsor streamers, they sponsor esports organizations, they even sponsor tournaments. So some tournaments will all
have the exact same kind of gaming chair that the
professionals are using. A quick word of warning
though, these gaming chairs, they aren’t all created equal. And some of them, even though they look exactly the same can be constructed from really poor materials, poor quality foam, and can actually be detrimental to the ergonomics and how you’re sitting. Take for example some the best selling gaming chairs on Amazon. And although they look
similar to those that you see on the esports stages, they are, in fact, made of wood and really cheap foam. I myself use a chair from
noblechairs, it’s called the Hero. And while it is on the more expensive end, I am sitting for the majority of my week and I want something that provided some lumbar support as well as having some real office
accreditation behind them. Really, all I want to advise is that you take a grain of salt with you when you are shopping for
a gaming chair on Amazon. In most cases you’d be better
off getting a traditional office chair from somewhere
like Ikea, for a similar price. And sure you might not
think that they look as cool as the ones on Amazon, but
sitting on a wood frame with some poor quality foam construction for 50 plus hours a week
won’t do you much good. Okay, so at what height should you actually have your chair set at? Well your chair height
should allow your feet to be flat on the floor and your knees creating a 90 degree angle
so that both your knees and your hips are in line with each other. If your chair is set too
low, causing your knees to be above your hips, or
your chair is set too high, causing your hips to be above your knees, you’re going to be directly
affecting the position of your lower back and pelvis, which
can restrict blood flow. If you are a smaller person
and struggle to get your feet flat on the floor for your desk height, then you should purchase a foot rest that raises your feet and
allows you to keep them flat. Now most chairs nowadays
allow you to have some sort of freedom in changing the
angle of the back rest. And you want to have that set somewhere between 90 and 110 degrees. Much of the advice
written online recommends sitting directly upright at 90 degrees and that is personally what I find
to be the most comfortable. Many chairs nowadays come with
some form of lumbar support, so if you do find it
more comfortable to have a slight recline when sitting, just make sure you’re supporting the natural curvature of
your lower back properly. Finally, if your chair
allows you to some adjustment of your arm rests, you
should be positioning those to allow your shoulders to be relaxed and your elbows comfortably
supported at 90 degrees. If you set your armrests too high, your shoulders are going to be shrugged, possibly giving you a stiff neck. Ideally the armrests should
be at the same height as your desk, which
allows your elbow to rest while still having full
control to make large sweeps with your mouse if you do use a low sensitivity when gaming like I do. Now probably the hardest thing to control in your streaming setup
is the actual desk. And I’m well aware that most
people don’t have a sit/stand desk or something that’s
height adjustable. Thankfully, the only real
requirement for a desk, in terms of ergonomics,
is that it allows you to meet the other requirements
that we have mentioned. So as long as you have enough depth that your monitor can
be an arms length away, your knees can fit under
your desk and still be at that 90 degree angle,
and your arms naturally rest with your elbows at 90
degrees, then they’re all good. Now, as I mentioned at the
beginning, this by no means covers the vast landscape that
is the health of a streamer. We still need to cover
topics like exercise, diet, mental health, hydration,
caffeine, there’s so much still to cover and I aim to be covering those in future videos on the
Gaming Careers channel. So if you haven’t yet subscribed,
now would be a great time to make sure that you’re
notified of all my new uploads. I do want to give a quick
disclaimer, I am not a health professional and if,
after setting up any of these exercises you’re still
having these issues, with injuries or playing,
you should of course go and seek advice from
a medical professional . Hopefully some of this
advice has been useful to you and you’ve been able to make some changes to the ergonomics of your streaming setup. I’m always interested in seeing your guy’s streaming setup so do tag
me in the posts on Twitter. I’m going to be re-Tweeting
some of my favorites, sharing them with the rest of
the Gaming Careers community. Finally a massive thank you,
as always, to the Patreons this month, these people help
support the Gaming Careers YouTube channel allowing me
to do this as a full time job and I’m forever thankful
for their support. If you are interested
in becoming a Patreon, please do go and check out the page, it’s linked in the description below. And subscribers, as always
I’ll see you in the next video. Peace!

100 thoughts to “IMPROVE Your Setup – The Gamer’s Guide to Ergonomics”

  1. Thanks so much for this mate. Absolutely critical advice that I'm taking to heart. I started noticing discomfort when I'm playing. Sometimes during long grinds I'd just play through the pain and then take a break a long time later. Those bad habits will lead to serious health problems later. I've learned a lot from these tips, and something that I hope other gamers will really benefit from.

  2. 0:26 what are those audio board things? Do you have any videos on audio control stuff? that's the one area my stream is severely lacking

  3. Great video bro, it'll help a lot of people. A few years ago I bought a cheap gaming chair from Amazon for $100 because I wanted a cool looking chair, but I also didn't want to spend like over $300 for a legit gaming chair. After using it for a while, I found myself with a lot of back problems and needing to crack my back constantly and whatnot and it wasn't great. Eventually I bought a chair from IKEA like he showed and it's soooo much better. My back feels so much better and I don't have any back pain or problems anymore. So to people out there I would suggest buying an office chair from IKEA if you can't afford to buy an expensive gaming chair.

  4. Do you have any information on room lighting to prevent eyestrain – overhead, behind monitor, behind chair, etc? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  5. About 25 years ago, when repetitive strain injury was considered a hoax, I experienced months of pain and handicaps after programming in a bad posture and work environment. I am glad nowadays there is more awareness of RSI and your video is great and accurate, thank you for making others aware and hopefully adjust their desktop environment before they have to suffer those pains.

  6. You shouldn't be telling people how they should set up their desk, keyboard and mouse when you aren't a professional. You aren't going to aim well if you sit this way it isn't comfortable and the mouse movements are much harder. How do you even play with your keyboard tilted counterclockwise? Tilting the keyboard clockwise allows you to rest your hand in a much more comfortable position and you don't have to stress you hand so much to press buttons. No professional gamers sit perfectly upright like this because you cannot play well like this, it is too stiff.

  7. Wow this is very helpful! Thanks..Newbie Streamer here and want to learn more.. Looking forward to being a full time streamer and quit my job..lol

  8. I would like to thank you for giving me this information to help me improve the way I sit at my desk. I will try some of your ideas and if I do get pain then I will see a GP/Doctor about it. Thanks again.

  9. Hey man been watching for sometime now I was hoping you have a discored I could join I need your help with my audio set up with my blue yeti if you would help me out thanks

  10. I tried repositioning my chair. Was more comfortable but still felt slanted to left. Come to realise the house is slanting sideways

  11. Love your videos man! I actually need a little more of your help, I just was able to get a Elgato Cam link to be used with a A5100 Sony, do you have any recommendations for settings on SLOBS? when I plug it in I had a black screen and after messing with the settings I was able to come up with the feed but I am pretty sure is not the best quality at all! I will really appreciate any tips you can give me! Thanks! Keep it up!

  12. Hi Gaming Careers, I got a qns. Do u have anything on bits weekly top cheerers in the chat? Like how to turn on that option? And what do one need to have to have that option etc?

  13. Subbed been watching some movies from you lately, i have learned alot! New streamer here just got affiliated so im very excited. Thanks for all the tips! U seem like a stand up guy!! Keep up the good work m8 🙂

  14. And most impoertant for me on keyboards is the Nice pillow i did not have it before ordered logitech g513 keyboard and the wrist pas that Come from dere omg!! Its sopp goooood

  15. Hello.i'm Brazilian, so, forgive my bad English… I have a doubt. Actually we have GPUs powerful, so, do we need 2 PCs for streaming? Or a good gpu, like 2060, and a new nvenc is enough?

  16. Hi gaming careers!
    Loving the Chanel.
    Have you got a video on how to implement music while streaming.

    Thanks
    Love ya work
    Fugi

  17. My chairs armrest have a slight curve, and when I rest my arms on them, it’s on my funny bone. Is this dangerous? Because I’m avoiding doing it.

  18. Lov this channel but can you make some editing video of games with Adobe premiere Pro I would love to watch that too

  19. I'm a gamer, but also work from my home office, so I can often be in my chair for 12-16 hours a day. While "gaming chairs" are extremely popular, I think many gamers aren't researching options that are common in the professional market, which can be even more beneficial for posture and injury prevention, and are often far more comfortable. For the price of a new Noblechair for instance, you can find a second-hand Humanscale Freedom Chair, or a Herman Miller Aeron. Or for a bit more my favorite chair, the Herman Miller Embody, will last many, many years and is one of the most functional chairs I've ever used.

  20. Just need your opinion. Is it better to grind at twitch streaming over facebook gaming? There’s so many streamers at Twitch compared to Facebook. Can’t decide where to stream.

  21. This is really true I ended up having to go to a doctor that’s really important because of one of my eye floaters and I’m kinda scared to lose my eye I’ve got a lazy in my left eye and don’t want to loss my right because if I do I have the possibility of never seeing again clearly

  22. Thats a really shitty position for your keyboard when you turn it counterclockwise like that. If someone needs to press a key on the far left side of they keyboard theyre going to have to rotate their wrist counterclockwise to reach them which causes wrist strain thats bad for you long term. If you turn your keyboard slightly clockwise your left wrist is going to be in a more natural position when your fingers are on WASD and your wrist doesnt have to turn counterclockwise nearly as much when your left pinky and left ring finger can press all the necessary keys with minimal wrist movement. Look up ergonomic keyboards. The left side of the keyboard is rotated to the right and the right side is rotated to the left because thats a more ergonomic, comfortable resting position for your wrist.

  23. I'd you going to be at a screen for a long time have the brightness down or wear sunglasses so you don't strain your eyes.

    Trust me I have looked at a screen for hours and your eyes will hurt and you'll get a headache.

  24. Very good video, and great to recommend RJN his videos are great, and should be looked at by anyone wanting a mouse

  25. Great Video, Also Just a TIP : Eye Strain. I recommend the 20/20/20 Rule. Every 20 Minutes, Look at something approx 20 FT Away for 20 Seconds. Wish their was Some Good Less expensive Gaming Chairs. Iam 6'7 and bad back lower and upper Lumbar. I need one of those Neat Tall Back Chairs.

  26. My tip for gaming chairs is, first go to a store and sit in it. Let someone else look at your posture and tell you if your posture is good. You also need to feel if the chair fits you well.
    I myself tested many chairs out and most of them give me back pain or make me have a croocked back.
    The only chairs that seem to fit ME personally are Speed Seats Comfort chairs.
    You should do this as every brand and chair is different and you don't want to spend a couple hundred bucks on smth you don't know if it even suits you well.

  27. I am in Chiropractic school right now. I absolutely love gaming and one of my passions is helping people live a healthier lifestyle. I appreciate you making this video because people need to be aware of what is happening to their body on a daily basis. <3

  28. Can you please make a obs vs streamlabs obs video?? Seeing as streamlabs obs is massively expanding and I've heard it has less bugs, I'd really love a video with your input seeing as you're mainly engaged into obs!

  29. i play with my keyboard tilted about 70 degrees and a lot of people play with a tilted setup.

    is there any way that this is okay?

  30. I stream everything from my Xbox any advice to improve my stream quality or am I doomed until I manage to get a cpu

  31. I'd say stay away from gaming chairs the design was meant for a car while something like a herman miller Aeron is designed for computer use and designed by those who know ergonomics vs someone who slapped a car seat on some legs.

  32. thx dude. Since i´m working at home now and i sit for several hours while Working or gaming (or both xD) i needed to adjust my sitting habits for future health.

    This video helped me a lot.^^

  33. Finally a video that actually teaches good ergonomics. To many people say to rest you entire arm on the desk when that can hurt your shoulders and forearm.

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