Monday, November 17, 2008

My desk ergonomics - The details



I'm still working on my back problem which are caused, I believe, by the poor ergonomics from my new desk. (You need the read previous post on this topic to know what I'm going on about). In any case, at age 50, in balancing karate and everything, I'm now badly out-of-whack and need to rebalance. I'm now going on my third month of on-again-off-again back problems.

As Kyoshi would say, if you could measure it, you can manage it. So I've taken out my tape measure (Yes, I know that this is not exactly what he intended what he meant it. But the spirit is the same. Find tools to solve problems. In this case, I'm using a tape measure.) and here's what I've found:

The height of the desk means that my arms would have to be held really high to use my keyboard. This would be a disaster for my back and shoulders.
The usual solution to such problems is to raise the chair adding a footrest to make sure that my feet have some support. But, since my desk has a drawer where I should be sliding under the desk, this won't work. I can't get my legs under my desk. So instead, I stretch my arms in all sorts of funny ways or slide down in my chair. What's frustrating is that I do have a nice upscale chair with about five different adjustments.
Solutions:
1. Cut out the drawer and put a keyboard & mouse drawer there instead. This creates room for my legs by getting rid of the drawer and allows me to construct an arm rest at the right height.
2. Have a keyboard mouse drawer that attaches under the drawer or even to the chair which comes out at about the height of the current desk drawer.
In either case, a little shopping, carpentry, and cleverness are called for. I'm a little frustrated in that I have a very similiar problem at my regular (not home) office and that I can't seem to get any real help from the people who can sell me the gadgets that I need to install. Isn't there a consultant somewhere that will come in, tell me what has to be done, and do it for me?








3 comments:

Rob said...

If it makes you more comfortable in your work spend the money.

Brittany Reiff said...

Wow your black belt story is incredibly motivating! Proof that dedication and perseverance do pay off.

I came across you blog today at this story about your desk and your efforts to make it more ergonomic. You are right that the adjustments you've diagramed can and should help alleviate your aches and pains.

I recommend our keyboard tray and the setup tips we provide at our website, but in addition to that if you have any other questions, we'd love to try to help. We're not doctors or anything, but we do sell an ergonomic product that has worked great for other people, ourselves included.

http://www.KingTray.com/

Anonymous said...

I have the same measurements and same problem with regards to a desk. I had to remove the pencil drawer in order to get sufficient legroom from my current desk. I'd love to replace the desk with something larger, but can't find one that (a) looks good, and (b) has enough room for my legs. It's frustrating - all nice wood furniture is made for average height people.