Ergonomic bliss and werewolf howls

I’ve been having ergonomic problems lately. The problems have little to do with ergonomics, it has more to do with the fact that I have been forced to spend the bright spring days couped up in a drab cubicle with gray and beige shades, barely having time to stuff the old mouth with lunch. So, the finger moans, and the knees groan. It is all a collective attention seeking mechanism to lure me out into the open.

The truth being, I do load balance making my mouse left-handed because of the carpal tunnel syndrome. So, a colleague of mine declared that all I need was one of those large, unwieldy trays that pull out from under the desk, and I would feel like I had relaxed in a hot bath the whole day, followed by a professional massage. The painted image was too good for me to bear. I had to act, and fast!

In a moment of weakness, I caught the company carpenter unawares on his bi-weekly visit, and got the tray done. I imagined painting my cubicle with a cool colour and put up a tent with spinning juice trays etc, as I pulled out the heaven equivalent from under my desk. (You get the general picture as I visualised my path into “heaven”)

The tray came, and I found the effect strange. Given that most of my tasks are done with the suspense and thrill of a racing car in a Grand Prix, I find myself sitting on the edge of the seat quite often and poking my beak towards the screen. The pull-out tray demanded a more relaxed position, and the beak was too far from the computer! Over and above that, the phone was too far from my relaxed position for comfort.

I’d already mentioned the left handed mouse temptation that I yield to once in a while, this large tray put a cork screw stopper to that as well! See the pic, the mouse area is always on the right! So, not only could I lose all cool imagination about being the superwoman flying in to tackle the issues at work with the leaning-in-tip-of-chair posture, I had to also make the carpal tunnel tunnel in harder to make its presence known!

You all know where this is leading I am sure. Even if I did manage to make peace with the tray, the chair I was sitting on was just not suited to the new lower height. So, I ran after a good chair. I am not tall, but I am not included in the dwarfish subset either, yet I had a chair that either had my legs dangling or sloping forward at an incline (almost waiting to tip me off any moment – because of lean-in-ahead car-racing-posture, I am sure). So, my hunt for a chair started.
Then, the mouse pad joined in – the carpal tunnel effect could be remedied with a mouse pad with a wrist support pad, said another ergonomic expert.

I now sit in my original bad leaning-in-position, yelping and howling every few minutes. The pull-out tray has been sent to an early retirement citing performance issues. But, it still hides under my desk!

Everytime, I inadvertently cross my legs, I howl like a werewolf calling its kind. (This pain can’t wait for full-moons for werewolf transformations!) My knee is badly bruised with the banging on tray injuries, and the carpenter took leave this week!

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4 thoughts on “Ergonomic bliss and werewolf howls”

  1. In all seriousness, get used to a keyboard tray with left handed mouse. It takes a few days to get over. I use a left handed mouse, so I slide the keyboard to the right so the numpad is hanging out of the tray.

    Once you get CTS, there is no typing in life, I have seen a couple of people go through this and it is not pretty.

    I also never type on a laptop’s keyboard, guaranteed RSI. I use an external kb and mouse at all times.

    Good luck. (btw, the new blog design font is too small :).

  2. Obelix, thanks for the feedback. I changed the font settings now, it should be fine now. Please let me know

    Survivor: Nakkal šŸ™‚

  3. I have always found that tray thing totally useless! Here is what I do. Throw all my shame away into the trash. Remove my shoes. Fold my legs and sit on the chair like I would on the floor. That gives me a good back stretch. Other than that, of course its important to have the level of your knees be at a comfortable level with your keyboard on desk. Please take carpel tunnel seriously. Remember “claws”. šŸ™‚

    Or just stop working unless your office folks provide you with a really comfortable sitting setup!

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