Shoulders, posture and equipment

I’ve been following the recent discussion on posture and shoulders etc. As I’ve probably mentioned (numerous times) before, I went through a course of total relaxation which actively relaxed tense muscles. It was great. I have tried employing similar tactics at the workstation – unfortunately I do slip back into old habits! However, recently I’ve been bought a Togl Organiser to place keyboard and monitor on. Not only does it allow you to set the workstation correctly, it provides support for the arms from the elbow down which then relaxes the whole of the shoulder area! Wicked! Anyway, for those interested in seeing what I’m talking about, try http://www.ergonomics.co.uk/products/posture/organ.htm. For those that have tried it I’d be interested to see what your thoughts are? As with all equipment, I now run the risk of keyboarding more than I should!! But then you can’t win them all.

Comment 1: Thanks for the web address. This looked interesting, but isn’t there a risk that it’s too high? I realised some time ago that one of my problems is that because I had a chair with arms, I tended to shrug my shoulders upwards while typing, to avoid bashing my elbows on the arms of the chair. I’m now dependant largely on VR software, but at home, where my machine won’t support VR, I’m experimenting with sitting with the keyboard on my lap so that I can keep my shoulders relaxed and down.

Comment 2: You can adjust the Togl to various heights and angles, and should also adjust the height of your chair accordingly, so you can make sure that your shoulders aren’t too high. I also tend to hunch my shoulders without realising it (whether I’m typing or not). Alexander technique lessons have made me more aware of these habits, as well as ways of improving my posture and relaxation. (Incidentally, a chiropractor in Edinburgh once told my mum, who also hunches her shoulders, that she had ‘Edinburgh shoulders’! Is it the cold wind?).

Comment 3: The organiser is fully adjustable (monitor height, keyboard height and slope) etc… and so should suit most people. I’ve added a copy holder below the monitor which caused initial height problems but I’ve sorted them with adjustments elsewhere! I got the organiser through PACT who let me trial it – fantastic results within days! The copy holder I have sits between the monitor and keyboard and prevents movement of the neck. I built my own (causing problems with sawing!) but PC World sells one (as part of a monitor stand) for 320 or you can get the posh one from Osmonds. For a quick view of it check http://www.ergonomics.co.uk/products/docholder/scopyf.htm

Comment 4: See my last post – about tilted chairs: this – plus a lower desk is the answer to the height problem.

Comment 5: I have one of these at work, too, and a chair to go with it that tilts back at an angle so that back and head/neck are supported and not strained wonderfully comfortable. My colleagues want to know how I get any work done – as distinct from just falling asleep! My set-up was recommended by PACT after a referral from the Disability Employment Service, and was largely paid for by the Disability Employment Service – along with voice software and a new trackball.


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