Relieving pain is all about listening to your body. I guess part of me knew that. But I didn’t know what to do with the signals my body was telling me. With my current job with Automattic, Inc., I was offered a consultation with ergonomic consultant Jeff Meltzer, president of Applied Ergonomics, who blew my mind.
Today I’m going to tell you how he helped me set up my office, and tomorrow I’m going to highlight him in an interview wherein he shares some tips that will most likely benefit you 🙂
After an hour-and-a-half Skype interview during which Meltzer assessed me as well as my living space, Meltzer suggested a certain office setup, and it was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I haven’t worked this pain-free in years! And it’s all thanks to his questions and recommendations.
Questions and Answers
The first issue he addressed was my health history. I have played the piano since I was quite young, becoming a piano major for a short time in college. Then I spent nearly two decades as a professional writer. This (and a bout of Lyme disease) left me with arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis. My fingers tended to lock when I worked a mouse too much.
Next he asked about my work habits and took a lot of measurements (which my husband helped me with). Most of my day, I work standing up. Eventually, I like to sit, though. I’m also short (5′ 2″) and a wee bit clutzy (yes, I have fallen off my exercise-ball chair in the past). Here’s what I ended up with:
My Office – (click the name of the piece of equipment to see what I have specifically)
Desk – I got the birch top, 60″ wide. This is a real treat since I stand most of the day. When I’m tired, I press some buttons, and it electrically adjusts to a lower position so I can sit. I put it back up at the end of the day so I’m ready to stand again in the morning. The pic up top has it in a standing position. Here it is lowered.
Chair – My beautiful HÅG Capisco – stylish and comfortable. Made for sitting in forwards or backwards so it’s fun, too!
Mouse – This is a life saver for me. Thanks to the HandShoe Wireless Mouse my fingers no longer lock. It’s designed to fully support the hand at a 30 degree pronation to minimize pinching and gripping of the mouse, as well as fly-away positioning of the thumb. Due to the large platform shape my entire hand rests on the mouse, encouraging relaxation–just as their website says. It took me a day to get used to my sting-ray mouse, but my fingers dance in thanks every day now.
Foot matting – According to Meltzer, this helps my circulation and my back. All I know is that pre-mat I could stand and work for about 3-4 hrs. without back pain. Now I average 6-7 hrs.
Tomorrow’s post highlights Meltzer’s tips and tricks for setting up your own office, even when on a tight budget. Until then…listen to your body and feel the pain melt away.