14 Oct DXRacer Review: Part 2 of 2
In the first part of this review, I went over the ergonomic features of the DXRacer Drifting Series and how it did–and didn’t–work for me. In this half, I’ll address some specific DIY modifications you can make if a new chair isn’t in your budget and how to best use chair specs to determine if a chair will be a good fit for you.
MAKING YOUR GAMING CHAIR WORK FOR YOU
If you find yourself with a chair that’s good-but-not-great, or even a high quality chair that, like the DXRacer Drifting Series for me, doesn’t quite fit, there’s still plenty you can do to make sure your chair provides good ergonomic support for your posture.
1) Foot rest
Let’s start from the bottom. Ideally, you want your chair at a height that lets your forearms, while supported on your armrests, be level with your keyboard (and, even more ideally, also level with your bellybutton). At the same time, you want your feet to be flat on the floor and firmly supported. That’s not always possible if you’re a shorter person in a taller chair; a foot rest is an easy solution to that.
Mine is a rocking rest that lets me indulge in my restless legs, but a stool, a stack of books, or wooden blocks would work just as well.
2) Seat Pillow/Cushion
Using a cushion can be an effective way to address either a height deficit or a too-hard seat. Using a product designed for this, like a memory foam cushion, is an option. It’s equally fine to use something not specifically purchased for that purpose: a pillow or a folded towel will work just as well.
3) Back Pillow – Bolster
This is the last tip designed just for short folks, I promise! As I mentioned in my review, one of my issues with the chair I tried was that I was unable to use the backrest comfortably because of the seat depth. If you find yourself with a similar problem, bolstering the backrest with a pillow is a simple and straightforward solution.
4) Back Pillow – Lumbar Support
If your issue isn’t the ability to reach your backrest but either insufficient support for your low back OR a lumbar support cushion that’s too large, as I encountered with the provided pillow, making your own lumbar support is exceptionally easy. A folded blanket or towel, a standalone lumbar pillow, or even a throw or bed pillow all work. The trick here is finding or making a support that fits you. The natural curve of the lumbar spine is lordotic, or slightly arched. You don’t want your support to push you into an over-arched, swaybacked position; you also don’t your back to be flat or rounded.
5) Elevated Armrests
I mentioned previously that your armrests should be level with your keyboard, and that both of those things should be at approximately bellybutton height. If your chair doesn’t come with adjustable height armrests, or if your armrests don’t adjust high enough, there’s an easy DIY fix: dishtowels and duct tape. Wrapping dishtowels around the armrests and securing them with duct tape, while not ~*~aesthetic~*~, is a functional adjustment.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A CHAIR FROM DX RACER (OR IN GENERAL)
As I noted in the first part of this review, my primary impediment to comfort and good posture in an otherwise-ergonomic chair was the chair’s seat depth relative to my leg length. The DXRacer Drifting Series does have a spec sheet. It’s jam-packed full of information, so I’ve highlighted the most relevant parts:
The seat depth is the first relevant point. If you want a chair that lets you use the backrest appropriately, the seat depth cannot exceed your femur length. An easy way to determine that for yourself is to measure from the “ball” of your femur (femoral head) to the front of your kneecap. (Yes, the seat depth will actually span from your butt to the back of your knee; that measurement is a little more difficult to take and is approximately equal to the measurement I recommend.) Height recommendations are a good approximation, but a precise measurement is even better.
Seat shoulder width is also worth paying attention to; you should be able to sit comfortably without your shoulders being pushed forward into a rounded position. If you’re broader-shouldered, a chair with a wider back and armrests is worth considering. If you’re a smaller individual, consider that the maximum weight and height capacity of a a chair are less relevant metrics than recommended or even minimum weight/height measurements.
OTHER GENERAL THOUGHTS
If you’re in the position to be marketing your own office or gaming chairs, seat dimensions (especially depth) and minimum as well as maximum recommended height/weight are especially relevant for your customers. Making those metrics easier to find will help them choose the chair most likely to fit them well.