Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree, LS Meet

Summer & Ergonomics

This is turning out to be a consistently hot summer, isn't it!

... and the chairs in this college are awkward, not properly adjustable (i.e., you can only adjust their height, not the back cushion height or angle), so I get warning signs in my back more or less as soon as I sit in them! And all the monitors are sat on the desktop machines, meaning they're all about 8" too low too, which is pretty bad going for people who use computers a lot! I stole some catalogues from a drawer to prop up my monitor so it's more bearable!

Anyone who uses computers should study some ergonomics and learn how to keep things comfortable and safe... the disadvantages of not doing this (I learned) are too great to ignore.

ok I'm in a tetchy mood!

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Hear, hear! Desk ergonomics are very important.

I had a serious spate of RSI a few years back. I eventually solved it by changing keyboard and installing a footrest, and have never looked back.

Fortunately, I'm I.T. Manager, so I was able to buy a dozen or so keyboards and choose the one that suited me best, then put the rest in stores for use as spare parts. I ended up with a Keytronic, though I know plenty of people hate them.

Keyboards are rarely a problem for me, but having said that I can tell which ones are good and which ones aren't... I personally stick with MS ergonomic ones with big rests. Although they only do the really good ones in beige/white, so most the time I take them apart and spray paint the cover black - their black cordless ones are only partially ergonomic.

I was Senior Programmer and lead of the web development team, so I got us all Monitor raisers and proper mice/stuff.

*mutters* fwe years back..lucky you...try living iwthit daily for hmmm nearly 10 years....well ok it asn't daily in the begining *sigh*

I was fortunate. While at university I knew someone who ended up pioneering voice recognition technology, simply because he'd knackered his hands typing during his PhD work. Apparently he'd been going fine until one day he changed keyboards. Within a few hours he was in considerable pain, and by the end of the week he was permanently disabled.

This taught me two very important lessons, before they became relevant to me. Firstly, if it hurts, stop. Stop at once. What you're typing is not important enough to be worth crippling yourself over. Secondly, subtle changes to workspace ergonomics can make a very large difference.

Armed with this knowledge, when I got bad RSI myself (a ganglion forming on the carpal tunnel in my left wrist), I treated the matter sufficiently seriously, with the result that I solved the problem in less than a fortnight. I dread to think what might have happened otherwise.

Another thing that messes with my typing ergonomics is thinking consciously about it, however, so I'm going to go away now and try to distract myself onto some completely other topic before returning to the keyboard. (-8

I didn't actually notice as I got upper-back RSI, I was getting shooting pains in my arms, and locked muscles in my shoulders. One day, whilst in visible pain (but as it'd only got worse slowly, I hadn't noticed and was continually thinking 'oh I appear to have strained some arm muscles' and kept thinking I must be sleeping funny), Ia'Kat said to me, "Vexen does your arm hurt?". At which point I realized it had been hurting for ages, and went to the doctor... it took me ages (as normal) to see a physio, but I read up lots and lots on ergonomics.

As soon as I started doing stretches and correct excercises, the pain immediately transfered to my upper back (which was the cause of my displaced arm pain), and now I recognize the warning signs within ten minutes whenever I sit at a PC that isn't layed out properly.

They said if I left it longer, I'd have ended up a cripple, potentially losing control of my whole body below my fourth vertebraae (which had slipped out of position due to posture & ergonomics ignorance). My shoulder blade had also slowly been pushed down 1 inch by bad posture & tense computing positions.

I was lucky in that now I do the stretches and take care, I know I wont have a problem again, but until I took those steps I was doing myself increasing damage!

it hurts often when i get up in the stopping isn't really an option as i like receiving a pay cheque

and i get it from typing, writing, holding a phone, holding a book up to read...sewing etc etc etc

i have had tendonitis for 10 years, and ganglion on and off for about 3 years and it affects most of my arm adn hand these days ho hum, atleast i now can semi-touch type ;) which helsp lots

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