Online gambling requires concentration to keep up with all the action happening across one or multiple tables. Discomfort from a setup that isn’t ergonomic can be a source of distraction that limits your potential for success.
The total time spent at the computer has inevitably gone up for most of us over the past few years. An uncomfortable desk setup may have been forgettable in the past, but as time spent sitting gets longer, so do the potential aches and pains.
There are a few areas on your body that are commonly affected by prolonged sitting at a computer, including the lower back, shoulders, neck, wrist, and eyes.
When performing the same task for prolonged periods, repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome can develop and interfere with daily life in all sorts of ways.
The goal of this article is to help you choose a computer setup that minimizes the chances you will develop issues while you gamble online.
Here are seven tips to help you put together your ideal computer setup for online gambling.
1 – Desk or Table
Whether you find yourself sitting at a desk or table when gambling at online casinos, the same principles apply.
Desks and tables are preferable over other seating options like couches or lounge chairs.
- Chairs and couches do not provide proper support to the lower back or the hips when trying to maintain good posture.
- Slouching on the couch or using a surface that requires you to hunch over are going to put a strain on the lower back, neck, and shoulders.
Also, your legs should have proper clearance below the desk. Your legs should fit comfortably under the desk while seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and allow for just enough room to cross your legs. An excellent general desk height to look for is between 28 and 30 inches.
If your existing desk is too low, it can cause you to hunch over, putting strain on your back and shoulders. Consider adding blocks or boards under the legs if the desk height is not adjustable.
And if your existing desk is too high, it can put a strain on your forearms and shoulders. Try an adjustable chair with or without a footrest to help you reach a comfortable position.
It could also be helpful to add a wrist rest or pad to the edge of desks. Some desks or tables have a hard edge that can put direct pressure on your wrists. Ideally, you will be able to adjust your chair and keyboard to avoid this issue, but adding a little extra support may be helpful.
2 – Chair
Choose a chair that supports good posture rather than one that works against you.
Proper posture is sitting with your back straight, thighs parallel to the floor, and calves perpendicular to the floor at a height that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor.
Remember: chairs are meant to support spinal curves. Chairs that recline and tilt with tension control will allow you to adjust the position to relieve pressure points and stress on your back. The shape of the backrest should mimic your natural spinal curvature. Adding a support pillow can improve support if your chair is lacking an adequate curve.
You also have to remember to choose the proper depth for your size and body type. There should be about a fist-sized distance between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees. For non-adjustable seats, the average depth should be about 16 to 17 inches. Adjustable seats will typically range from 14 to 18.5 inches.
Chairs that have a curved or soft edge may put less pressure on the back of your legs than those with a hard edge. It’s also important to choose a comfortable armrest height or chair with the ability to make adjustments. Armrests should be adjusted to allow arms to rest gently with relaxed shoulders. The ability to swivel the arm is also a beneficial option to account for the angle forearms tend to take when using the keyboard.
Pick a chair height that matches your height and desk size. Your feet should comfortably rest flat on the floor when seated in your chair while giving you proper clearance between your knees and the desk.
Depending on which you buy first, you may have to adjust the height of the other to match. Try to do some measurements before you buy the corresponding piece. If the height of your desk ends up too high for your chair, consider getting a footrest.
Materials vary and depend on your preference. Pick one that is generally supportive, comfortable without pressure points, breathable, and on budget.
3 – Monitor
Screen placement is critical to limit neck, shoulder, and eye strain. Screen size and resolution depend on the task and placement. The ideal screen size depends on your personal habits, but about 24 to 27 inches is the recommended computer monitor size to minimize strain.
The resolution mainly should be high enough to read the information easily without squinting or craning your neck. Most current monitors will easily meet this benchmark. Make sure to place your screen in a position that supports good posture. Your screen should be directly in front of you at eye level or slightly lower.
To estimate the best position, close your eyes for a moment, then open them. Where your eye line naturally falls should be about at the address bar on the screen. If you require corrective bifocal lenses, placing the monitor level a little lower will make reading and viewing more comfortable.
If you are using two monitors, place them side by side without a gap. Also, place your primary monitor directly in front and the secondary monitor off-center. If you use them equally, center them both, keeping both at the same arm’s length distance.
Minimizing screen glare is also necessary. Tilt the screen down to avoid glare, depending on your room lighting. An angle of about 10 to 20 degrees is an excellent place to start. Lamps or other bright light sources should be placed to the side of the monitor out of direct eye line.
Lastly, rest your eyes regularly. Give your eyes a break by stepping away from the screen periodically to take a break from the desk. Adjust the contrast and brightness to account for the environment and time of day. Look away from the screen intermittently and focus on faraway objects periodically.
4 – Keyboard and Mouse
Placement of the keyboard and mouse depends on your style of use. Here are some general tips to help you know where to start.
Your elbows should be able to rest comfortably at the sides. Minimize having to lean or reach forward. Adjust the height to a comfortable position that does not force your shoulders to hold to a position that is too high or slouch for one too low.
Make sure your forearms are about parallel to the floor and rest gently on chair armrests. Choose a keyboard that does not force your wrists into uncomfortable angles or resting positions, and center the keyboard based on the letters, not the full keyboard size.
The placement should be directly in front of you at about the same level as your elbows, allowing for enough space between your lap and wrists to maintain the ergonomic posture position. Ideally, keyboards should be at a negative tilt down and away from your seated position.
Do not use the kickstands, which put the keyboard in the exact opposite of the desired position. A desk with a keyboard tray is going to be the easiest way to achieve the most ergonomically correct position overall.
Next, place the mouse directly beside the keyboard at the same height and on the same surface. Keep wrists straight with upper arms close to your body, and hands at or slightly below the level of your elbows. Use a high sensitivity setting so that it only requires a light touch and minimal movement to operate. Consider alternating hands by moving the mouse to the other side of the keyboard periodically if you struggle with carpal tunnel.
5 – What About Laptops?
Using a laptop for online casino games presents a set of different challenges.
Adjusting the screen height means the keyboard and trackpad move along with it, so you’ll often have to find some compromise. You may need to invest in accessories that help you with more ergonomic positioning.
- Bed tray or laptop stands can help improve the typing angle.
- Stands can elevate the laptop to utilize an external keyboard, allowing for a more optimal typing angle and screen distance.
- An external mouse can also be useful and is an excellent way to change up your hand position to avoid wrist and elbow stress.
Take advantage of laptop portability by changing up your seating often.
6 – Where to Place Your Setup
Choosing the right environment to set up your desk can be essential when attempting to optimize your ability to focus while playing.
- Choose a quiet room with lighting that is adequate but not so bright that it causes screen glare.
- Set up someplace where there are minimal distractions from noise or busy areas in your home.
The placement of items on your desk or table can add to stress. Keep critical items closer to your body, and place items you use less often further away on the desk.
6 – Take Regular Breaks
Regular breaks will give your muscles and joints a break, reduce your health risks, and improve your gambling performance.
Take short walks around the house or outside. Even if you have a great setup, you will inevitably develop stiffness and soreness if you don’t move around enough. Moving regularly will reduce your risk of health issues like swelling and blood clots. A short walk can boost your mood and ability to maintain concentration and focus.
If you have enough room, take time to do some basic stretches. Maintaining flexibility will also help reduce muscle soreness and joint stiffness. Don’t forget to stretch your hands and wrists along with your neck, shoulders, legs, and back.
Lastly, mix up tasks and reposition regularly. Simple things like removing your hands from the keyboard when not typing can be beneficial. Periodically change your desk from sitting to standing if it is adjustable.
Online gambling comes with its own challenges apart from unhealthy land-based casino habits. Maintaining good posture, holding stressful upper body positions, and repetitive movements at the hands and wrists are the key points to pay attention to.
By taking some steps to put together a comfortable computer setup, you can minimize potential distractions and discomforts while you gamble, allowing you to better focus and maximize your potential.