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Office ergonomics...what are you doing?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by James Burke, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    Ok...so after a much needed visit to the chiropractor today, I'm now in the market for some brand new ideas concerning my office chair and desk.

    After discovering the benefits of doing back exercises on a Swiss ball, I learned that the balls are also used for office chairs. So I get on youtube looking for simple demonstrations, and got just a bit more than I'd bargained for.

    One proponent of the "ball chair" idea liked the concept, except for two major drawbacks:

    1) The soft plastic ball made the backs of his legs sweat profusely, thus requiring a towel to be placed over the ball for comfort.

    2) The inability to "let one squeak out" when the need arises. It seems the 'ol bum seals up tight as a drum while seated on one of these gizmos. (However, this might prove to be the perfect solution for the frequent offender in your office)

    Grief! I had hoped for a little more insight on this.

    Searching further, I stumbled upon the concept of a stand-up desk...does anybody use a stand up desk? This idea, coupled with a good anti-fatigue mat is the most intriguing because it would prevent me from staying at the computer any longer than I absolutely need to. And it would keep me from hunching over as I often seem to do, unaware of my bad posture. If needed, I could always sit on a stool, but the option of standing a good portion of the time sounds somewhat appealing.

    So there you have it...lay it on me...what are you guys doing?

  2. idsignsil

    idsignsil Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Springfield, IL
    I have had lower back problems for a while and am still sitting at a desk in an office chair. But, I have chosen a chair that has the adjustable lumbar support, which helped a great deal. I have also raised my desk up from it's standard height. I put 2x4's under the legs, on edge, so 3.5" lift. I have the chair height set so my feet just hit the floor, and with the extra height on the desk it forces me to sit up straight and not hunch over at my desk.

    The wife and I also bought a sleep number bed. Between the two I now have little to no back problems depending on the day and what I lifted or did the previous day.
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    I have a Serta office chair with gel seat which helps. Walking 1.5 miles every morning and evening helps even more.(lost 8 lbs too) I do some light stretching before bed also. Sleeping on a Denver Mattress air bed with dual chambers per side doesn't hurt either. It's the only one on the market with separate lumbar adjustability.:thumb::loveya:

    Short answer for me is movement.
  4. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    invest in a good office chair as suggested with the ability to adjust the back, seat, height and such. also what help is a low foot stool that you can put your feet up on, no more that about 6 inch high works for most people.
  5. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

    Oct 17, 2010
    Fort Myers
    I have a stand up style desk. Basically I took a standard L-shaped receptionist desk and added more to it to raise it up. I extended the leg walls using the same size walls/legs using 1/4 mdo that was laminated to match.

    The desk top now sits at about 4 1/2 feet. I also use a high stool with a straight low back to relieve my feet during the day. Allows me to take the weight off my legs without going into a full sitting position like with a standard office chair.

    I bought my chair from a salon supply company. They had just the right height with an adjustable height that you could crank up versus the standard hydraulic that shoots up and down based on your weight being on it. Also, the seat was just the right size for someone past there 20s that has an extra few inches in the rear and needs a bit of support.

    Cost about $800 for the chair but, well worth it as I don't get the back pain from sitting or my feet swelling from too much standing. Don't be afraid to spend good money on something you will occupy 8 hours a day. I don't cheap out on my chairs or, my bed as I spend 16 hours a day minimum between them either sitting or sleeping. So, I figure if I am spending that much time occupying a space it might as well be the best I can afford.
  6. signpost-boston

    signpost-boston Making America great, one sign at a time.

    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, Ma.
    my shop came with craptastic equipment. it was bad. after three years i finally re arranged my computer room.
    1.somebody was throwing away ikea Galant desks. with adjustable and leveling feet. score. my desk is level. both directions
    this is HUGE when you work at it. i can't stress enough how important this is. the height is set so my shoulders square up to it.
    2. i already owned a IKEA markus chair. it has a super high back. (i'm six feet strong.)
    3. raise your monitors so the top of them is just about eye level. this allows your head/ neck to be nuetral
    4. while the markus chair isn't the best choice, on craigslist there are "a. miller" office chairs on there that are affordable. that will be my next purchase. these chairs are considered the best ergonomics in the industry of task chairs.
    5. stretch often. i too have a swiss ball. and a foam roller. getting the blood flowing and muscles extending will keep you productive and pain free.
    for the most part.
    good luck!
  7. GWSigns

    GWSigns Member

    Jul 26, 2013
    Working at Goodwill....well they do not ante up for new furniture.

    All office furniture comes through donations, so it is a crapshoot as to what you get.

    I finally found a great desk by trolling the warehouse for a few months.

    Chairs are another issue. I have worked here 12 years and have yet to find a good chair.

    I keep a small foot stool under the desk and make sure to move and stretch my feet regularly.

    I also have raised my monitors by placing them on over turned totes - keeps the hunchback away.

    If all that still leaves me uncomfortable, I walk the warehouse a time or two to loosen up the muscles in my back, just keep moving about every 30 minutes helps as well.

    As soon as the weather cools a bit I will begin walking at lunch, there is a greenway running behind our building so I may as well take advantage of it , if I can dodge the bikers.

    I began seeing my chiropractor again two weeks ago and it has been a total blessing - especially because with my insurance and a discount he offers church members (we belong to the same church) it is zero dollars out of pocket for me!
  8. HDvinyl

    HDvinyl Trump 2020

    Nov 20, 2008
    halfway house.
    My wife is a Health Coach by profession, so she understands the need for movement while in the office environment.

    I try daily to get sex from her in my office chair.

    The ball works too.

  9. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
  10. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I converted my work table into my "desk" now in the work area. I'm a one man shop, so I realize this doesn't work for everyone. I've always had my computer up at standing height, and then I have a garage bar stool that's tall here too that I kick back on if needed.

    That being said, I know some of you never leave the computer in a day, and you already have back problems. I haven't had problems thus far in my young-ish life, and I'm hoping that standing will help me not have trouble. I don't spend too much time sitting in a day.
  11. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    I have a Cramer chair made in the 30's. I use a laptop so I stand or sit at a 38" work table in the studio. The chair is adjustable, swivels and somewhere to rest you feet. When you have a laptop you can move it around to suit your posture.
  12. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

    Jan 9, 2007
  13. the graphics co

    the graphics co Active Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Gurnee, IL
    My wife works for a Herman Miller Dealer (office furniture) you would be surprised at the number of companies that are using desks/workstations that offer standing and sitting surface height in the same space. Not to mention the number of configurations that do away completely with the traditional desk concept. Lots of lounge style or common area working environments mixed with desks and community work stations. the setups promote a more active ergonomic environment. There are a lot of white papers online if you search the major office furniture websites.
  14. Hicalibersigns

    Hicalibersigns Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Tall chairs are not difficult to find. Go to one of the office supply stores and search drafting chair. I have one and love it. 410868_sk_md.jpg
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Hire someone to work for you, then you can just lay down on one of these fancy work desks everyone's always asking how to make around here with the soft cutting surface and catch up on your beauty sleep. :Sleeping:

    Or just suck it up, discipline yourself to sit and stand erect with good posture and you wan't have any problems. I was in a body brace for 11 months, back around 1984/85. I signed papers to have my leg cut off due to all the pain I was having. I didn't sleep for like 8 days.... maybe a short nap here or there. I did what I was asked to do and after a year of therapy, was able to return to an almost normal routine. However, I had to be careful about certain things. to this day, I pick things up properly, I tend to sit or stand rather upright and slouch only at night on the sofa when in front of a good movie. 25 years ago, we got a tempurpedic mattress and that alone has done wonders for my wake hours.
  16. rjpjr

    rjpjr Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    I designed a desk that would allow me to sit or stand about 18 years ago.
    We built five of them and they have been great.
    They also provide as a creative sales tool.

    Attached Files:

  17. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    NJ | VT
    Switched to a standing desk this spring. Added anti fatigue mat. Would never go back. There are various outlets for determining your ideal height.

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