Armrests and Gaming: A Fact Check

Are armrests good for gaming? If this question has crossed your mind, you’re not alone. Many gamers find the armrests visually unpleasant and feel like they clutter the look of their otherwise clean and minimalistic gaming setup.

Before you decide to remove the armrests from your gaming chair, consider their impact on your gaming experience. As you go through this blog, you’ll understand how and why armrests are more than just aesthetics.

Before we delve into the nitty gritty, let’s address the main question first:

Are Armrests Good for Gaming?

Absolutely! Armrests support your arms and hands while gaming and promote an upright sitting posture that relieves muscle tension. They also improve comfort, enhance gaming performance, and prevent injuries from long gaming sessions.

Benefits of Armrest Pads

Gaming chair arms offer many benefits, some of which include:

● Armrests provide essential support for your arms and hands. This alleviates muscle tension, stress, and discomfort from improper arm posture during extended gaming sessions.

● Armrests also encourage an upright sitting posture which, in turn, reduces strain on your spine and promotes a healthier alignment.

● By allowing your elbows to support the weight of your body’s upper torso partially, armrests relieve pressure from your neck and shoulders.

● Armrests minimize the effort required to get up from your gaming chair by removing unnecessary strain from the knees and thighs.

● Armrests eliminate pressure points on your arms and wrists and prevent nerve compression from the constant pressure of gaming. This may seem insignificant, but prolonged nerve compressions increase the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

● Lastly, the support offered by armrests enhances the safety of your gaming or ergonomic chair. They prevent excessive lateral body pressure, reducing the risk of the chair tipping over.

Do Pro Gamers Use Armrests?

Yes, the majority of pro gamers use armrests. After all, armrests are essential for preventing unnecessary muscle cramps, aches, and fatigue. If you play professionally, the last thing you want distracting you is physical discomfort.

Disadvantages of Armrests

While armrests offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to acknowledge certain drawbacks that affect user experience for some:

● Armrests can hinder movement and reduce comfort for larger users whose body frame doesn’t match that of their gaming chair.

● Non-adjustable armrests can be discomforting as they force users into unnatural positions.

● In some cases, armrests prevent the chair from sliding under the gaming desk, resulting in the need to adjust either the desk’s height or the chair’s. Adjusting the chair too low or the gaming desk too high can strain your back, neck, calves, thighs, or knees (depending on the posture).

● Users who prefer lower mouse sensitivity might find armrests obstructive, as they require a greater pivoting range to move the mouse around, negatively impacting in-game performance.

● Armrests also contribute to the chair’s manufacturing costs, resulting in higher price tags.

● For those who sit cross-legged or in other unusual postures, armrests may restrict their preferred sitting positions.

● Finally, users who prefer clean, minimalistic design aesthetics may find armrests unnecessary (but this is subjective).

Should I Remove My Armrests?

No. Do not remove your armrests because they provide essential support, and removing them may lead to discomfort and potential posture-related issues. Situations that warrant removing armrests include larger individuals whose body frame doesn’t match the chair or when non-adjustable armrests begin to cause pain.

a gaming chair with removed armrests

Yours truly, guilty as charged. I can’t jam on my guitar if those pesky armrests are on my gaming chair, so I ditched them. But hey, if I could, I’d totally keep them on.

How Should Your Arms Be When Gaming?

Ensure your armrests are level with your desk (this sets the foundation for a comfortable arm position). Then, place your elbows on the armrests and create a slight angle between your elbows and shoulders. Finally, let your shoulders hang naturally to reduce strain and fatigue.

Additional tips include:

Keep your wrists neutral, allowing easy access to your mouse and keyboard. Adjust your chair backward or forward until your wrists are perfectly aligned in a neutral position. Avoid unnecessary wrist-bending, which can lead to Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs).

Follow these steps and you’ll achieve the perfect arm position.

The Best Posture for Gaming

Now that we’ve covered the optimal arm position let’s talk about the overall body posture needed for the best gaming experience.

Head: Keep your head upright, with your chin parallel to the ground. Avoid a forward head posture, which might lead to cervical kyphosis or ‘text neck.’

Neck: Maintain a neutral neck position – don’t lean too forward or backward. Consider using a neck pillow for extra support.

Shoulders: Keep your shoulders relaxed and avoid forward position, tension, or hunching.

Back: Keep your back upright and set firmly against the backrest, maintaining a natural curve in the lumbar spine.

Hips, Thighs, and Knees: Keep your thighs parallel to the ground and your knees at or above a 90-degree angle. Also, your hips should align with or be slightly above your knees. Feel free to adjust the seat height to achieve this sitting position.

Feet: Place your feet flat on the floor, with your calves directly above them at a slight angle. Consider adding footrests to further improve your feet’ posture.


Do Pro-FPS Players Use Armrests?

Yes. Most pro-FPS players rely on armrests as they are essential for providing long-term comfort and preventing fatigue during extended gaming sessions and competitive matches.

Should I Use Armrests While Using a Mouse?

Yes, using armrests while using a mouse is highly recommended. Doing so alleviates pressure from your wrist and the heel of your hand, reducing the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and other health-related issues.

Do Pros Aim With Wrist or Arm?

Most pros prefer aiming with their arms. They shoot fast and accurately by combining arm movement with low mouse sensitivity. On the other hand, wrist aiming is more suitable for high mouse sensitivity, although it can make precise shots more challenging to execute.

Should I Rest My Elbow When Gaming?

Absolutely! It’s essential to always rest your elbows on the armrests while gaming. It supports your shoulders and upper torso and provides more comfortable access to the mouse and keyboard.

Armrest Pads for Gaming Chairs: The Conclusion

To conclude, armrests offer essential arm and hand support, promote an upright sitting posture, and reduce muscle tension. They also prevent discomfort and the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

However, they do have minor drawbacks. For example, non-adjustable armrests may cause discomfort and restrict certain sitting positions. While removing armrests is generally not recommended, specific situations may call for it.

But overall, their benefits far outweigh the potential drawbacks, especially when gaming. Pro gamers use armrests for comfort and fatigue prevention, so for optimal gaming, keep your body in neutral alignment and let the armrest support your shoulders and upper torso.

Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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