However, we still had another issue to address – laptops. Because keyboard and screen are integrated in a laptop, ergonomically we could not get the angles and heights correct for both the keyboard and the screen. It became clear to us that working on a laptop all day was not going to help improve our posture. But we love laptops! We love having all the computer power we need in portable form so that we can take our work anywhere with us, from client meetings to long trips, and we were not willing to give up that freedom and flexibility. Not to mention that in the eventual case of power failure, the battery in that laptop is gold!
But we realized that we could still have it all, the flexibility of a laptop and beautifully aligned spines, by simply plugging a big monitor and a keyboard to our laptops when we were working in the office, which for us is most of the time. So we raised the monitor screen to our eye level on a secondary table stand, so that our spines could stay straight and our gaze slightly downwards as it falls most naturally. The keyboard at table height kept our elbows at the optimal 90 to 100 deg. 2 when either sitting or standing, allowing us to type or use the mouse with ease. And the laptop could fit neatly behind the keyboard and underneath the screen stand, making efficient use of table space.
All the parts used in the setup this office system are readily available “off-the-shelf” items. Adjustable table legs, 9″ high metal bracket and 12″ deep shelf to create a stand for the monitor. Most monitors have height adjustment mechanisms to fine tune the screen height to each person’s eyesight level. For the table top we used 1″ thick bamboo plywood surface with a natural oil finish. Any tabletop surface could be chosen for this application based on individual preferences.
Our desire was to empower ourselves and others to take charge of our work environments and to start honoring our bodies as much as we honor our minds. Because mind and body both work better when they are in harmony. Bringing our minds and bodies back to balance has to start with each one of us, and in every aspect of our lives! Because if we don’t honor our minds and our bodies equally, no one else will.
Ana can be contacted at [email protected]
If you found this article interesting, you really should read “Why Sitting is Killing You!”
1 “Jobs Most at Risk from Back Problems” 2006 http://www.chiropracticresearch.org
2 “In Praise of Good Posture” 2011 Rosalind Ferry