For a couple years now I’ve been doing most of my computing at our Norden Ikea table here in the living room of the cabin. Sitting on a hard wooden chair (better now that my loving Sister V! gave us all fitted, personalized pads for our chairs) and hunched over the laptop.
Working on client computers I generally am standing though – I work on those in the other room on a lovely chrome shelf that is directly beside the router and, well, isn’t on our kitchen table!
Over the years I’ve developed some pretty annoying back pain. One of my specialists thinks it’s related to Aikido (I don’t think so), or perhaps a misspent youth (more likely, ask me about how not to demonstrate the dangers of the neighbourhood bike ramp). I also received a report from radiology that I have a slightly collapsed disc – that can’t help. Oh yeah, I also recently heard that my latest xrays have shown that I’m starting to have a permanent slouch – all things I’d rather not deal with.
As such, I’m working hard to remediate things. It was helpful to hear on CGP Grey’s latest Cortex podcast that he endorsed kneeling chairs and something from my past that I use to love – the trackball!
I ordered up a kneeling chair from eBay (much better pricing than Amazon), and my old love – the Logitech M570 trackball (this was faster and cheaper from Amazon).
After receiving these two new ergonomic “assistants”, I realised that I was still looking very much downwards at the laptop screens.
Hitting up Amazon and Walmart’s website for cheap standing desk platforms that I could put on the kitchen table, I quickly came across laptop stands, which would do the job much more inexpensively and require less investment in something large and bulky to move around the cabin.
Staring at the laptop stands for awhile, it suddenly occurred to me that Nana had gifted us an inexpensive Ikea stand for tablets which I had been using in the bedroom as a small technology platform. I quickly repurposed it into the kitchen and was absolutely tickled PINK to discover that my lightweight and snappy Acer Swift 1 fit it perfectly! I didn’t have to make a new purchase, and raised the screen of the laptop close to 30cm already!
Now I did have to dust off one of my wireless keyboards as the laptop keyboard is nearly vertical in the new orientation. It has a nasty, oversized dongle that I’d rather not deal with, and it has wide spaces between the keys, perfect for catching crumbs.
As such, back to the internets, where I’ve ordered a bluetooth keyboard with better sealed keys. Oh well, again, I didn’t have to buy a stand.
It’s too early to say if this will be life changing, but at least I’m making the effort to move in the correct direction. I do find I have to alternate between the kneeling chair and a traditional one – kneeling isn’t so good at the supper table for eating, and my knees and back do get sore from being in such a novel position.
I’ll report back if things go sideways.