At Razer, we’re big fans of gaming chairs and are continually working to reinvent the throne upon which gamers play—not just for ergonomics, like the Razer Iskur, but also for breathability with the new Razer Fujin line, or innovation with the Dolce&Gabbana | Razer Enki Pro – Chroma Edition. We believe there’s a Razer gaming chair for every type of gamer.
Today, we’re sitting down with Dr. Matthew Hwu, founder of the 1HP organization, who has worked with professional esports teams and players for the past 8 years, to discuss this topic in greater detail.
Dr. Hwu is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with an Orthopedic specialization. He’s not just a healthcare professional; he’s also a passionate gamer with a profound commitment to helping you game, live, and recharge so you can keep doing what you love. With a Doctorate from Western University of Health Sciences and a residency in Orthopedic Physical Therapy, he’s your go-to expert for all things related to gaming wellness. Dr. Hwu’s journey in esports began in 2015, and he has shared his expertise with renowned organizations like Immortals, CLG, NIP, and Evil Geniuses. His experience spans top-tier gaming organizations like 100T, Team Liquid, OG Esports, and more. He firmly believes in the power of collaboration, working alongside esports pros, streamers, and organizations to positively influence the next generation of gamers.
1HP’s mission is simple: empower the gaming community to lead healthier lives, one hit point at a time. After all, you’ve only got one life—why not make it a healthy one?
Dr. Hwu, could you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into Esports Medicine and Performance?
Dr. Hwu: Sure! As you know I am a Physical Therapist by trade but most importantly I have been a gamer my entire life. I grew up playing counterstrike 1.6, transitioned to DOTA and followed all the major trends in esports titles over the years (Halo, OW, Fortnite, Valorant). I have also competed in a few esports titles with the most notable placing being #429 in the Fortnite World Cup Solos week 1 where I earned a grand total of $500 (haha!).
Over the years I noticed there were several cases of gamers retiring due to their health issues and wondered why this was happening. I found there was limited health and performance support at every level of the community and decided to start 1HP to address this gap in support. I was fortunate enough to marry my passions of helping people move better and gaming to become the first esports physical therapist in 2015. From there it has been an amazing journey of supporting some of the best in the world continue to do what they love without being held back by their health.
How would you describe the journey of gaming chairs so far?
Dr. Hwu: The journey of gaming chairs is intriguing. They began with the concept of ergonomic car seats from Nissan and NASA’s guidelines. Although it was a promising start, it wasn’t yet fully optimized for the demands of gaming. For instance, lumbar and cervical pillows were often uncomfortable, winged shoulder supports could promote shoulder discomfort, and the seat designs weren’t ideal for extended gaming sessions. But the industry listened and evolved.
How have things changed for the better?
Dr. Hwu: We’re witnessing significant evolution as gaming chairs and office chairs borrow concepts from each other. Now, we have chairs that better support gaming dynamics and offer superior comfort. Gamers are, in a sense, the Olympians of desk work, so their chairs should match their needs.
Are these advanced ergonomic gaming chairs beneficial for gamers?
Dr. Hwu: From a health perspective, adjustability is crucial. Chairs should adapt to an individual’s unique body and setup to provide optimal support. For example, lumbar support should accommodate the curvature of each person’s spine, and seat depth should vary based on leg length.
Razer has done a great job to keep adjustability in mind with its chairs as they have designed a great lineup of chairs with features matching the various types of lifestyles, postures and unique needs gamers have. I want to highlight the Razer Iskur and its’ unique lumbar support design which not only promotes movement but also can help gamers more easily maintain a neutral posture while gaming. With the ability to effectively shorten seat depth, the Iskur is also able to provide lumbopelvic support for those who sit with more of the forward lean / “focused” posture.
Is there anything beyond adjustability that makes these chairs important?
Dr. Hwu: There are several key features. For example, maintaining a neutral spine position doesn’t directly prevent lower back pain. It’s not just about what you do while you’re in your chair, but what you do while you’re out of it–the interplay of posture, ergonomics, physical activity, and lifestyle factors. Similarly, armrests offer additional adjustability and can accommodate various sitting styles, while cushion fabric provides comfort and breathability.
However, it’s essential to remember that a chair’s impact is just one piece of the physical health puzzle. Chairs can optimize comfort, but they must be tailored to meet gaming specific demands, considering the entire ecosystem of desks, monitors, and space. However, prolonged sitting is still inherently unhealthy for our bodies. While chairs with more adjustability allow for more optimal performance while sitting, other factors also contribute to overall physical health.
How would someone know which Razer gaming chair is perfect for them? Can you break down how you look at Razer’s gaming chair offerings?
Dr. Hwu: It’s essential to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Everyone has different needs based on their physique, habits, environment, and more. That’s why Razer has designed a range of chairs that offer solutions for every type of gamer.
Could you break down how you look at Razer’s gaming chair offerings?
Dr. Hwu: It’s essential to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Everyone has different needs based on their physique, habits, environment, and more. It starts with understanding your own needs:
- What size is best fit for my anatomy?
- How long am I sitting in the chair each day?
- Do I prefer breathability or a softer cushion?
- Do I tend to move frequently and need a wide-range of adjustability?
Depending on your own needs, Razer’s range of chairs can match your specific answers to those questions and provide solutions for every type of gamer. From my experience with them, I’d classify them as:
- Razer Fujin line: A mesh chair, perfect for gamers who want breathability balanced with ergonomic adjustability.
- Razer Enki line: Focused on providing all-day comfort by ensuring even weight distribution
- Razer Iskur line: Razer’s very first chair which features their unique lumbar support mechanism providing the widest range of adjustability and support across their offerings
Dr. Hwu, thank you for shedding light on this topic. It’s clear that while gaming chairs have come a long way, the right fit is everything.
If you’re looking for the perfect gaming chair for yourself – check out Razer’s diverse range, each designed with specific gaming needs in mind. Right over at Razer.com.
Here’s to better gaming experiences and healthier gaming lifestyles!