After going through an interactive slideshow about workspace ergonomics via Lifehacker, I became aware of a few problems with my workspace:
- My chair is too deep for my short asian legs, so the backs of my knees touch the edge of the chair. This is bad because I have “risk of lower leg strain” and “reduced circulation to legs and feet.” (On the other hand, I like being able to sit cross-legged in my chair occasionally…)
- My laptop screen is too far away, forcing me to lean my head forward slightly so that I have bad posture, as well as forcing me to squint often. This is also bad. I can’t move my laptop any closer, because then my hands/wrists/arms would be out of position; i.e., I need a certain amount of room for my keyboard and wrist guard so that my arms are not too far back, but that means my laptop can’t scoot forward anymore. I don’t have a keyboard drawer.
Well, today I knocked off the second item when my laptop elevator arrived. This slick item is shiny yet low-tech; two metal U-shaped arms and a shiny plastic connector that the bottom part of the arms slide into. The pieces feel heavy, solid, and well-made. The clear, rounded, shiny plastic base-connector almost makes me feel like I own a Mac. The thrift-store shopper in me was surprised that it was $39.99, but on the other hand I haven’t seen any other similar products that I’d want to own, and I’m willing to pay a little more to keep my body happy and pain-free.
The arms are not adjustable and raise the laptop 5.5″. This seems to work well for my current laptop and setup. Unfortunately the raised laptop height now blocks part of my bulletin board that is on the wall behind my laptop, so I can no longer see the pictures of sea otters and kittens that help make me smile. I’ll have to reposition the bulletin board somehow.
I’ve found that the space under the laptop is great for stowing my keyboard when I need a bit more desk space, as well.
Next… finding a good lumbar support pillow to help “push” my legs away from the edge of the seat…