November 30, 2007

Because bootleg is best

When I first started this job, my right shoulder hurt from a combo of biking mishaps and holding my arm up to desk height to move the mouse. I set up an ergonomic consult with the woman from HR. She ordered a $350 drop down keyboard/mouse tray and a stand to raise the monitor. We have custom made desks here in the design department. The keyboard arrived and was completely unsuitable for the desk. I returned it and figured out that I could put a clipboard in my lap and use that for the mouse. My shoulder problems went away.

My chair was uncomfortable but not horrible. After two months though, it was truly awful. My lower back hurt all the time and my shoulders were sloping toward ugly old lady land. Last Friday I brought in my balance ball. I'd used this at home for a seat and loved it. All week now, I've heard variations on "Are you sitting on a ball?!", but it's been great. The best part? I'm developing some killer ab muscles.

Anyone else have bootleg office solutions? The cheaper but better way to make it work?


Michael said...

Here at the Scudder home we all sit at our computers on exercise balls, and have done so for over 6 months. I also have padding for my elbows; a throw cushion and a padded envelope, since I work and play at a corner desk.

Snickollet said...

Love the exercise ball idea. I have one gathering dust in my basement--perhaps I will take it to work and use it there. My posture has become quite awful.

OTR sister said...

I use my exercise ball at home too. I like that when I get excited, either over an email or a design, I can bounce up and down.

Anonymous said...

You ask a sensible question. It deserves answers.

Yes, I have a bootleg solution. Recently, I purchased a Canon printer that also scans and copies. It's large and came in a sturdy 15" X 22" X 22" box. I was about to throw the box away when I realized it would make a good table. So, it sits by my computer desk and supports current writing jobs, my pen jar, coffee cup and two hats.

As my grandfather used to say when completing a makeshift job, "Well, it sure ain't pretty, but it's hell for stout."

Mama Nabi said...

I recently arranged for someone in our lab to go through an ergonomics assessment - and she seems happier (ended up just switching her to another desk, got a new chair) so I have been thinking... I totally should bring my exercise ball since no one's getting any use out of it at home. What a great idea.