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Do You Have a PC Posture? 163

prostoalex writes "PC Magazine takes a look at 'PC posture' and the problems associated with the workstyles of those who spend hours in front of the PC. They talk about proper sitting styles, the erroneous name of 'wrist rest,' monitor height and the need for periodic exercises to help alleviate potential repetitive stress injuries."
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Do You Have a PC Posture?

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  • Nonesense! (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:37AM (#15461812) Homepage Journal
    My PC is powered by an exercise bike.

    Now, if only I could stop forcing my kids to pedal whilst I sit back I might actually lose some weight.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:40AM (#15461822)

    he must be working overtime
    as the previous article by "hdtv" domain (PLASMA-HDTV-PRICES.COM) is registered to Alex Moskalyuk aka prostoalex, along with the blog submitted on ZDnet is also Alex [zdnet.com]

    so he registers a load of domains and then pretends to be different unrelated submitters in order to hawk his scam of the week, i guess ZDnet doesnt pay that well

  • by EnderWigginsXenocide ( 852478 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:40AM (#15461829) Homepage
    Are your shoulders hunched? Yes

    Your wrists arched back? Yes

    How about your neck: Is it craned forward? Yes

    Is your back aligned with your chair back? Yes. Is this bad?

    Are your feet flat on the floor? Yes. This is bad too??!!

    • Are your shoulders hunched? Yes

      Your wrists arched back? no

      How about your neck: Is it craned forward? Yes

      Is your back aligned with your chair back? Yes

      Are your feet flat on the floor? no, feet up on the table whilst my nutts roast
    • Proper posture (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'm convinced that the best way to sit at a computer is to sit in different awkward positions each time. Slouch, sit upright, lean to the side, sit at an angle, bring one leg up on your seat and sit on it. It really doesn't matter. Just don't do the same thing all day.

      I should probably have carpal tunnel by now, considering how much I use computers at work and at home. Yet it's the people who aren't very into computers and only do data entry at work that seem to get it.
    • I tend to sit like I'm laying back. Butt slumped way forward, stomach pooched out. I look ridiculous.
    • Did you RTFA? No.

  • by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:43AM (#15461840)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • by Pink Tinkletini ( 978889 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:44AM (#15461841) Homepage
    All of the experts emphasized the importance of moving around throughout the day, whether through simple stretches, programs that prompt people to take a break, or by refilling your water glass or standing to complete tasks when you can.
    To alleviate symptoms of RSI, my doctor suggested I take a few breaks to walk around during the workday, but unfortunately, my health insurance wouldn't pay for a chiropractor. That's why I took up smoking.
  • my posture (Score:2, Funny)

    by know1 ( 854868 )
    i must comfortably because i find myself quite often having to loosen my trousers while using the computer
  • by IAstudent ( 919232 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:51AM (#15461882)
    Obviously the author only covered "PC posture", not "Gamer posture"

    Slumped back in chair, head tilted towards screen, body rigid except for wrists and fingers.

    Trying to correct that is like trying to find a cure for the neurotic cat.
  • Odd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:53AM (#15461893) Homepage
    Odd, I didn't see anything in there about sliding down to the edge of my seat and leaning back whilst barely keeping my eyes open as I watch the screen half drunk after I get back from "lunch" at the local pub.

    Also, about halfway through the article I saw the following:

    "A new study suggests many workers would forego higher salaries in favor of an improved work-life balance and career advancement opportunities. Click here to read more.

    And the entire sentence was a link to this [yahoo.com] site. Was that link an ad to another of their articles? How in the hell was that relevant to this article? There was some more link trickery throughout the page as well. Honestly, this story read more like something on Askmen.com than something from an actual news organization.

  • Actually (Score:5, Funny)

    by ElephanTS ( 624421 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:55AM (#15461900)
    I have a Mac posture. It's just like waaay cooler ;^)
  • Relaxation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zidohl ( 976382 )
    If you actually try to sit right and relax you won't go back to the hunched possition (apart from when you've been awake for 30+ hours and your muscles simply wont support sitting upright anymore).. It's such a relief for the whole body to feel the muscles in the neck and shoulders relax properly.
    • Young instead suggests that people sit all the way back in their chair so that their sacrum touches the chair's back.

      "When you do this, your pelvis and back are aligned properly and it allows you to move easily in the chair," said Young.

      The simplest, most direct and most effective means of accomplishing this to remove the back from your chair. You were designed to sit on a platform (like, for instance, the Earth). Without a back to lean against you naturally rely on your muscles to maintain proper spinal a
  • Evidence? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gvc ( 167165 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:59AM (#15461921)
    The popular press is very good at promoting the line that computers are dangerous. The courts and "ergonomic consulting" firms seem to buy into the danger as well. But where's the evidence?

    Here's a contrary hypothesis: carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain are stress related. That's not to say they aren't real, it's to say that the primary contributory agent is stress. People in repetitive data entry employment may have stressful lifestyles. The stress may be partially caused by the job, or there may be some other non-causal association.

    Now sitting differently -- or any other intervention -- may even cause a measurable improvement due to the Hawthorne effect. That's not proof that sitting one way or the other was the cause of the problem.

    Exercise -- just getting up and walking, running, swimming, and so on -- probably has more effect than changing posture at the job. Whether that's physiological or psychological or, more likely, both, is unimportant; it works.

    I encourage people to check out primary sources or research on these issues, not just statements from consultants who have something to gain from a particular point of view, or trade unions or employers or insurers who have somewhat different axes to grind.

    [Says he slouched in bed with wrists heavily on laptop keyboard, who is about to go out for a jog, so as to prevent the chronic back pain that he has suffered from time to time in his life.]
    • "Here's a contrary hypothesis: carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain are stress related. That's not to say they aren't real, it's to say that the primary contributory agent is stress. People in repetitive data entry employment may have stressful lifestyles. The stress may be partially caused by the job, or there may be some other non-causal association."

      Your hypothesis is well founded, My other half has a serious back problem that may or may not have been started by horse riding BUT now it is trig
    • I can guarantee that computers are ergonomically dangerous! It's quite simple indeed; most computers use monitors which are the primary visual output devices used in this age. These monitors are quite heavy, some weigh more than 100 lbs. and are handled by warehouse personnel for shipping. Now these personnel will have bad backs because they injured their spine moving heavy monitors all day long. It might seem funny, but it's true; monitors are devices of pain!
    • Re:Evidence? (Score:3, Informative)

      by omeomi ( 675045 )
      I developed an RSI after about one month of working at a job that required me to be at a computer for about 80 hours a week. Most doctors that I've seen tell me it's impossible, but realistically it was likely the straw that broke the camel's back, after a lifetime of gaming, computer use, and being a musician (piano and saxophone). Anyway, after years of struggling with it, I've all but cured my problems by adjusting my posture and exercising regularly. There's really no better solution.
  • News (Score:5, Funny)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:59AM (#15461922)

    Well, here's some news that might get you to sit straight up in your chair:

    Shit this is gonna be intense... I knew it there's something in there I didn't know.

    Along with the majority of the computer-facing population, you could be well on your way to developing a series of unsavory repetitive stress ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome, postural syndrome, tendonitis and eye strain.

    Wait, you promised me news, damn you. I WANT MY NEWS!!!
  • by Reverse Gear ( 891207 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @12:00PM (#15461928) Homepage
    At my home desk computer I have on very old worn chair with where the back rest is pretty much unuseable.
    It has been with me for the last 6 years, in which I have been sitting at the computer many hours every day in this chair.
    I have often been thinking about replacing this chair and often people tell me to do so. So far I have not done this. Somehow I have an idea that this miserable chair helps me to avoid injuries.
    One obvious things about this chair is that with me not sitting comfortable I often rise and move around for a little while before getting back at the computer, one thing that the article emphasises as being a good thing.
    Another good thing is that this chair makes me change seatnig position all the time, without really thinking abuot it, the chair is not much diffrent than a stool I have a variety of ways of sitting at the chair that put the strain on diffrent places in my body.

    I think I will stick with this worn chair until it totally falls apart after which I will go look for a similar old worn chair.
    After all the countries where people sleep directly on the floor without soft mattresses like India back injuries were curiosly enough almost unknown until they started getting civilized sleeping in soft beds.
  • My mom has been telling me this every day for the past 6 years :/
  • I have a PC posture. Kinda like this [finecutfilms.com].

    Then when I want to use a laptop I tend to adopt a more erganomic posture such as this one [fluff.info].
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @12:09PM (#15461971) Homepage Journal
    For about 30 years, I've been staring at PC monitors from whatever chair is available, in whatever triangle with the keyboard and my body happened to be easily adjustable. My eyesight, which started at a little better than 20/20 in both eyes, is now better than 20/16.

    I did switch from CRT to LCD after about 10 years. And I use two very different action keyboards on my desk. And I refused to learn "touchtyping", preferring instead a John Entwhistle approach to 10-fingered hypersonic hunt and peck. But my PC rigs seem to have served more as exercise equipment than torture chamber. Maybe I'm just lucky to be born PC-shaped.
  • by alexandrecc ( 970052 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @12:14PM (#15461995)
    eWEEK picked the brains of a slew of ergonomics and other posture professionals, who all voiced the sobering truth that human beings were not designed to fold themselves into computer workstations each day.

    The actual truth is human being isn't designed to live more than 40 years old. So consequently, no matter the working position, there is potential for degenerative problems. It is only in the past 3000 years that people are living more than 40 years.

    If we are always standing up, we'll have hip and knee problems; if we are always sitting down, we'll have vertebral column problems; if we are moving from one position to the other or always moving, we'll have tendinitis and bursitis problems.

    So honestly, my conclusion is our musculoskeletal system isn't designed at all to work as long as our 2006 life expectancy.

    • actually the problem is we have DEVOLVED to the point where we are in bad shape as we near the century mark (most folks a don't make it b are trashed by the time they get there)

      what kills us is a bad case of stupid
    • The actual truth is that living beings aren't "designed" at all. And, the fact that people do live longer than 40 years disproves your assertion too.

      In most people the things you describe happen after they've reproduced so how could natural selection work on them?
    • I was 20 when RSI had me in non-stop pain. My best friend developed it in his early twenties. I know a 14-year-old sufferer. It's not just an issue for middle-aged and old people.
    • simplistic (Score:3, Informative)

      It is only in the past 3000 years that people are living more than 40 years.

      Sorry, but that's wrong. Life expectancy may have been 35 or 40, but many individuals has lived twice as long; and those individuals have probably been very important in preliterate societies. In addition, 3000 years is plenty of time for big evolutionary changes.
    • by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @04:39PM (#15463177)
      This is misinformed. The reason we 'live longer' in modern societies is primarily due to an improvements in child health and childbirth. Children dying young, and young women dying in childbirth dragged the mean lifespan down - people lived about as long as they do now, just less of them got a decent run at it. Basically, they didn't just drop dead at 40, they lived to 70 or 80 if they didn't die before the age of 5.

      A better 'average' lifespan is around 70. It's difficult to say, as many of the side effects of a modern industrialised society - poor diet, lack of exercise and chemical/toxic pollution drag us down just as modern medicine helps individuals live longer.

      Your post also assumes a 'designer'. We've evolved like all animals, and part of the evolution that allows us to stand upright also involved bending the spine into a rather unusual shape, leaving us prone to lower back problems. We also have wear and tear on the joint surfaces (which usually starts kicking in seriously about 70). We have a number of evolutionary weaknesses, which have often been caused because they gave us an advantage in another way, or simply weren't detrimental enough to the population to be weeded out. There's no 'natural' age to live to though, it really just does depend upon luck and maintenance.
  • Shoulder/Back Brace (Score:2, Interesting)

    by therage96 ( 912259 )
    Funnily enough, I just bought one of these http://www.badbacks.com.au/product.asp?productID=1 35 [badbacks.com.au] because I noticed I was starting to round my upper back and also I was rolling my shoulders forward. I've had this thing for a few days now and so far it's been helping a lot.
    • I would be careful with this kind of thing, if you use it too much your muscles etc will depend on it, Try to correct your posture your self where possible, there are exercises you can do to help force your back/neck to where it should be but you would need to see a professional to get proper advice about specific excerises.
  • I was in a major car accident receiving some pretty bad whiplash..

    the physio said something about bad posture making the effects of the crash worse... and my sitting at a comp all day has messed up my healing time im pretty sure.

  • I have a very strange selection of poses that I'm likely to pull while hacking away. I've been known to tuck one or both legs under myself, sitting on my heels, lean up against whatever happens to be near by, sit cross-legged on the chair, or pull one leg up and lean on the knee -- all very ergonomically correct positions, I'm sure. Then again, my 1984 Model M keyboard is pretty darn ergonomic as well, so I don't think I have anything to worry about.
    • I am currently lying down, half in my seat, half in my bed(which is adjacent to my seat). Since I have a clunky desktop on a level desk, I have my head at a 70-degree angle. My wireless keyboard is on my desk also, since I'm far too lazy to do anything about that, and my wireless mouse is on the wall opposite my bed., being controlled by my feet.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I can work for hours comfortably in front of my computer at work but not so at home. I've done a lot to improve things, like retiring my ancient chairside IBM laptop and replacing it with a much more modern monitor. One of the things that seems to make a big difference is that my office is much more brightly lit than my livingroom. Increasing the light level in the livingroom seemed to help.
  • good and bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by jafac ( 1449 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @12:33PM (#15462088) Homepage
    For me, the absolute most damaging thing I did was work at a company with crappy health insurance, and crappy doctors. (Blue Cross Blue Shield, later Aetna) -

    When my lower-back problems first arose, it was nearly impossible to get a doctor to do anything other than "take a couple advil". Next step was "take a couple vicodin". Or unhelpful or obvious advice like "lose some weight" (duh).

    My problems got progressively worse year by year. Until last year, when I was hurt so bad I could barely work. Each time I had a hurt, it was extreme pain that would last 8-10 weeks, or more. I'd get x-rays, and the doctor would say there's nothing wrong. Sometimes I'd get chiropractic - which also did nothing to help the long-term problem.

    FINALLY, a new doctor talked the insurance company into springing for an MRI. Degenerated L4-L5 disk (at this point, it had already been obvious). They talked about cortisone shots, but freinds I knew who had similar issues weren't helped. I've heard a lot of good things about surgery, where the bulging part of the disk was trimmed. But no doctor would do that unless I was physically impaired to the point where I could not walk, or lost bowel or bladder function. (I shit you not).

    So it seemed as if I was doomed to keep experiencing these re-occurring episodes 2 to 3 times a year, with only reactionary treatment available, nothing preventative, nothing that would be a long term cure. Unless I paid for it myself and saw an out-of-network doctor.

    I say this now: When the revolution comes, HMO accountants will be the first ones up against the wall. I swear, I will torture those motherfuckers until they beg for mercy. And then I'll keep torturing them.

    Now, I had been sent to "physical therapists" before - heat treatments, microwave treatments, ultrasound treatments, traction, massage, etc. ALL a complete fucking waste of time.

    Then, I saw one that specialized in sports-medicine, who simply proscribed a series of daily stretching excercise for my gluteals and hamstrings - that, coupled with an ergonomic workstation that allowed me to work standing-up during part of the day, then sitting for part of the day. These two things did more than anything else to help me.

    Sit-stand tray and monitor stand.
    Hamstring and gluteal stretches.

    That's all.

    I still have a lot of pain and stiffness, particularly in the morning. And I still get sciatic pinching symptoms like patches of numbness on my leg, or burning sensations. But for the most part, I don't get these injury-episodes anymore where I can barely walk for 8-10 weeks. The stretching is the factor that helps the most. If I had a curious doctor, I suppose I'd go in for another MRI to see if there was any effect on my degenerated disk. But that's never going to happen. Not with my current insurance.

    One side-effect, though; I usually stand for about the first four hours of the day, then I sit. But this has started to cause some soreness in my knees and ankles now, and, my mouse-wrist, because of the change-in-angle when I'm standing, so fixing the wrist problem was just a matter of changing my keyboard angle when I go from sit-to-stand, and vice-versa.

    I'm hoping that the knee and ankle issues will be relieved, since I began a light weight-training program at the advice of the physical therapist.
    • I thank you for the great comment, and I hope someone is going to moderate you to five. I also have the same problem to the back, and I spent a lot of money with doctors with no results.

      Would you please be so glad to tell me more details about the stretching you perform?

      Really thanks.

      • Would you please be so glad to tell me more details about the stretching you perform?

        While I didn't write the comment you replied to, my story pretty much mirrors the parent poster. My problem started with an accident injuring my neck and shoulders and working on a computer most of the time didn't help the healing. He may post his stretching exercises but in case he doesn't, here are mine.

        For each of these stretches, you won't be able to actually touch the body parts as listed but if you attempt it, the str
        • I started doing this program [mattfurey.com] six weeks ago and my back pain is gone for the first time in 20 years. I can't recommend it highly enough. I know the web page reads like pure home shopping network but it works.

          The back bridge exercise is very effective, although a little intimidating at first. See here [bodybuilding.com] for a good explanation of all the core exercises with photos. No weights, no gyms, a few minutes a day. Charles Atlas would have been impressed.

      • The hamstring stretch; I'll stand next to a waist-high table, couch back, or my bed (my bed sits up pretty high compared to most). I'll put one leg out, horizontally, and straight, and bring my head down toward my knee. Most people will say to try to keep your knee straight. I can't. I have very tight hamstrings. So I just do my best, and keep it mostly straight. It's not optimal stretching, but it's better than nothing.

        The gluteal stretch; Lying on my back, I'll lift one knee, bent at about a 90-degree
        • I also need to note:
          My description of the hamstring stretch is how I'm doing it now. Not how I started. When I started, I was in a lot of pain. I would lie on my back, and had my wife lift one leg up, holding my knee semi-straight. We got about 30-degrees or so at firt, with my left leg (problem was worse on the left side). So I couldn't even put my leg up on a table or my bed back then. When I remember that and think back, I've made a lot of progress in range-of-motion.
    • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
      Something you may not know, but to keep in mind for the future...

      If your back pain gets so bad that a doctor reccommends "disc fusion" or similar, look into "artificial disc replacement". I first heard about this last year on NPR, but it looks like research and development of this technology has been going on for at least 20 years.

      Unfortunately, I think they are still working on the surgical technique - the method described on NPR seemed to indicate that they had to operate from the abdominal side, moving y

    • I find that when I'm standing, using an optical mouse against my leg (or other convenient, vertical body part) is very comfortable. But then, I don't do it for extensive periods of time so you're probably already worked something out...
    • Many years ago I had lower back problems that were (fortunately) identified and fixed by getting good typist chairs (high back, arm rests) instead of the usual commodity office chair. Anyone in our area whose predominant activity is coding gets shipped off to a local office furniture place and gets *fitted* for a chair. Since then, I have also ditched my crummy foam mattress for a futon and taken up indoor rock climbing, both of which help a bunch (IMHO). Swimming is also good for body tone, and I am also t
    • I say this now: When the revolution comes, HMO accountants will be the first ones up against the wall. I swear, I will torture those motherfuckers until they beg for mercy. And then I'll keep torturing them.

      Whoa. What stopped you from going to a Real Doctor? If I were in that much pain I'd mortgage my house to afford the proper medical advice if I couldn't afford it out of pocket.

      I mean, given the choice between dropping some coin and exacting carnal revenge, one ought to favor the less bloody approach.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    wrist rest == net nanny
  • Not a word was mentioned about my favorite posture. Two pillows propped up behind me while I sit up on my bed, laptop in lap. This is a very comfortable posture IMO. And it allows me to nap mid-PDF. But some will say the heat from the laptop is damaging my balls. Well that's where Merck comes in. I have complete confidence in Merck's ability to cure my "overheated testical disease" as well as my "arched wrist disease", "detached sacrum disease", "reaching disease", etc. The "reaching disease", of course, ca
  • People talk about this like it's something new, but bad posture while sitting has been around for as long as chairs have.

    Next time you have to take a long drive, try setting your seat upright. Move the seat forward until your fingers can reach the dash, set the height at a comfortable level and adjust the mirrors.

    You'll probably find that you need to stop and stretch less often. Most travel-related back problems are easily cured this way.

  • The two things that have saved my spine (aside from Dr. LaBreque, my chiropractor) are a really good chair [flickr.com] and an articulated monitor arm [flickr.com].

    I used to have a standing workstation [flickr.com], but once I started doing long hours (as in 10+) of work at home, that was no longer practical. But for as much as 4-6 hours a day, it’s awesome, especially for gaming. (This is the only point on which I agree with Rummy [wikipedia.org].)

  • As your eyesight gets worse you tend to use a bad posture to get closer to the screen...
  • Yoga (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tomasset ( 26814 )

    I have been dealing with computers for quite a numbers of years now. RSI, back and shoulder problems, eye strain, you name it, I've been throuh all. We are all bound to suffer of this as long as we keep on sitting in front of the computers both at work and at home.

    The only real cure I've found for back problems is actually yoga. The classical yoga program takes no more than 1 hour to do and it stretches thoroughly most muscles in your back. Try it, join some yoga courses and be constant for several months (
  • by ignoramus ( 544216 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:26PM (#15462575) Homepage

    I use WorkRave [workrave.org] to force myself to take regular breaks and get my "10 to 12 seconds" of wrist relief.

    The program can be a real pain when it's getting late and I'm rushing to meet a deadline--but this is where I need it most... You can configure "micro-breaks" as described above, longer rest breaks and even a daily limit. And the program is smart enough to only calculate the time you are actually on the system.

    Try it out--it's free software and has Linux and windows versions available for download [workrave.org].

  • Every posture if lasts more than 1 hour is bad for health, the only, easy, solution, is to change posture every time possible.
  • "Men tend to be low writers. They like their chairs lower, and to sit back in them, and they need to learn to sit higher. Men strain their arms and wrists when they sit too low. "

    I'll let the readers figure out why this guy is so lame...
  • by epicee ( 979002 )
    And there I was thinking, what the heck is a politically correct posture?
  • With laptops, I compute as often reclined on my couch as I do sitting on my desk.
  • Use a Swiss ball (Score:2, Interesting)

    by uncl_bob ( 529354 )
    They [wikipedia.org] are even possible to use as office chairs. Training your balance is a good thing.
  • Depth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BandwidthHog ( 257320 ) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Saturday June 03, 2006 @03:51PM (#15462974) Homepage Journal
    One of the single best ways to fuck yourself up is to have your keyboard and mouse right up at the edge of the work surface. Get them as far back as you can so your forearms are on the desk instead of hanging off it. If you’re stuck with a vacuum tube on your desk, pull the desk out from the wall so that the pivot base of your monitor is at the back edge and the monitor’s ass is hanging out in space. Then push your input devices as far back as you can. Spend a few hours like that and see how it feels. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

    Fortunately, the shift to LCDs should free up another foot or more of space on people’s desks. And hopefully their reduced size and weight will cause more people start mounting them [flickr.com] on walls or articulated arms. Oddly enough, bringing your focal point up to eye level does wonders for the neck (and probably the eyes as well).

  • Aching back... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Due to an earlier injury, my cronic back problem as been the limiting factor in my coding productivity.

    At last year's MacWorld Expo, I picked up this really need strap like device that goes around my lower back, and front of my knees, then I lean forward and pull it tight, then as I lean back, my lower back gets amazing support. I sometimes feel things getting "adjusted" inside and my chiropractor has mentioned a significant improvement. I can now sit about 3 - 4 hours longer with less discomfort by usin
  • Back in the days of green monochrome monitors (with 280x192 resolution), we referred to the ghoulish contorted posture of young hackers as NERD HUNCH.

    Thank goodness for corporate ergonomics efforts, or I'd be a crippled hunchback by now.
  • My posture usually consists of my elbows resting on my desk, and my head resting in my hands. Tears generally stream down my face because I CAN'T GET MY $*#% CODE TO WORK!@
  • Even though the article mentions problems with bifocals, it ignores one thing that gives great relief to the "more experienced" among us: a proper pair of prescription glasses for computer work. Bifocals are the pits: you can't keep the whole screen in focus, you slouch back in the chair or twist your neck to see the screen through the little "reading" window, and you wonder why you have a stiff neck and stress headaches. Get a pair of full-frame, single-vision glasses with a prescription suitable for your
  • Stand-up Desk (Score:2, Interesting)

    by unity ( 1740 )
    As soon as I began working from home I built myself a desk that is at chest height. Literally the top of my desk is just under my armpits.

    I have found that standing at my desk all day eleminates all the hunching over problems. I can rest my arms on the desk, I can bounce my legs and move around all day as I am working. Compared to bouncing my legs endlessly while sitting.

    Of course my friends initially made fun of me, saying "Dude that is way high, what did you do? Screw up when measuring before bui
  • Let me say first that I distinguish RSI from carpal tunnel in a basic way. I think RSI is a problem that is going to happen regardless of posture and that is just about the simple question of whether any signal we send to repetitively through our system is bad for us. I think people become open to RSI because of the R, the repetition, and we should be wary of tasks that ask people to become machines. "People are good at judgment. Machines are good at repetition." People should not be doing the tasks of machines.

    But carpal tunnel is very different. I have had friends fall victim to this, and I've seen them point to all manner of things to deny what seems totally obvious to me, and yet what I see no press play about: A lot of people who spend their time at a desk are not football players. They have not trained themeselves for years to be strong. That's just an observation, not a criticism. The weakest among us often prefer desk jobs. And some of them end up victim to the fact that desk jobs have their physical stresses.

    At the risk of angering my insurance company, I should say that for 30 years I've sat with posture that is not perfect. I've rested my hands on my desk. I've worked long hours. And my typing is fine. Yet others I've known haven't survived 2 years of light typing. Why the difference? I can't believe it's typing.

    Looking around at those who do and those who don't, I see weak-wristed people who have problems and strong-wristed people who don't. What did I do as a kid? I swam (with my arms, never kicking enough) competitively for a number of years. I bowled, using at least one wrist heavily. And I played baseball--again sport that uses the wrist. I played volleyball (lots of wrist there) and ping-pong (same). I did tetherball (very strong wrist use). And I loved the horizontal bar (pullups, and pulling my whole body over the bar). It doesn't surprise me, then, that as an adult, my wrists had nice broad cord strength going through whatever the bone structure was there. My arms were always very strong, and it's served me well programming. Probably plenty for a robust typing life.

    If you're a kid, or you know one, or have one, who wants to be into computers, I recommend sports. And particular those sports--the ones about wrists. I just don't see the problem. Then again, typing itself from an early age may well build a generation of kids whose bones grow up knowing they'll need this strength. So it may just be those who are late to learn typing that end up with the problem. Still, a bit of swimming and those other things won't have hurt you any...

    Maybe what I'm advocating is less PC style posture, and more Mac-style posture, since the Mac commercials seem to be more about getting out and doing physical things with your computer on your belt...

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta