Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blah.

Not feelin' it today.

At least I have (belatedly) discovered the cause of my increasing lower back woes. When I bought the new computer last year, I also bought a righteous modern widescreen 25" monitor to go with it. Said monitor, however, is not height-adjustable and, even with my desk chair lowered as far as it will go, my eyes are level with the top edge of the monitor itself. Any extended surfing of the intertubes, which comprises a large chunk of my days, finds me leaning forward, elbows on knees or the edge of the desk to support myself.

As a result, the muscles of my lower back have become unemployed, and grown soft and lazy and tend to rebel when asked to do work, like bending over to empty or load the dishwasher, manage the extension cord for the lawnmower, or even, as happened yesterday, get a range bag out of the trunk of the Bimmer. This is clearly unsat. I have always been proud of having good posture, and it's going to go away if I don't do something about it, starting with a cheap monitor stand to jack it up 4" or so.

26 comments:

nguyenhm16 said...

I find that at my age, if I don't do squats regularly, I get lower back pain from the most mundane things. That's probably the best workout for the lower half of your body.

Flighterdoc said...

Put the monitor on a ream (or two or three) of printer paper.

I do at work, aside from adjusting the height to my needs it also provides an emergency supply of paper when we run out of one size (letter) or another (legal)

DeanCaul said...

I know I'm going to get beaten, mocked and ridiculed but have you tried putting some books under the monitor to raise it up?

Robin said...

Well, I can't complain if you are not feelin' it today.

I'm still chuckling over some of your bon mots from the last day or two.

Tam said...

While it's lighter than a CRT, it's still a pretty substantial thing, so I don't know about using a cardboard box. Books or reams of paper would work, too, but I'm hoping to free up room for more clutter. (You already can't see the foot of this monitor's stand. ;) )

The Raving Prophet said...

You know, now that you've mentioned this, I've noticed the same thing on my desk. Now I'm browsing Amazon for monitor and laptop stands (I have one of both on my desk.

THANKS, TAM.

(Just kidding, but seriously, now that I see it, it bugs me).

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

You need to ask Bobbi to build you a nice little wooden monitor stand :) Maybe she has some boards left from the bookshelf project?

Anonymous said...

Does your roomie have any wood left over from her bookshelf project? Build a box with three sides, put it under the monitor upside-down, open side towards the keyboard so you can slide stuff under it. Add a center divider to make it stronger if you wish. My co-worker built one while suffering from whiplash; he later added drawers.

Al_in_Ottawa

mikey said...

So, I looked straight ahead just now and my line of sight is at least 4-5 inches above the top of my monitor.

What are you, an owl? Just look down without making a yoga move out of it.

mikee said...

Standing Desk. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

Think suspension bridge. Back is the road, stomach muscles are the cables. Your stomach muscles are what support your back.

Do sit-ups. Five a day will keep the pain away (presuming no back damage and doctor's consent, of course).

Not to dismiss the importance of moving the monitor to a more ergonomically advantageous position, as poor posture will come back to bite you in your old age.

BSR

Anonymous said...

I just use a 4" cmu block turned on its side, the cavities used to store pens / pencils / calculators / scissors / point 'n shoot camera, keeps desk clutter down to a dull roar (our office manager will call BS on that last point :^)

Hope your back feels better soon.

Don M said...

I find when I exercise, my muscles get bigger. Particularly, when I exercise my sitting muscles.

Don M said...

Regarding the suspension bridge analogy, when the cables are further from the road way they can be weaker. That is why one's body grows a paunch or beer belly when faced with lots of sitting and little exercise, to make best use of the limited muscles that are left.

og said...

" I have always been proud of having good posture,"

I am proud and a little amazed that I can still stand and walk upright considering. it is worth keeping decent posture if you have it.

Gewehr98 said...

Ammo can monitor stand? ;)

Will said...

There may be a vision component in the reason(s) for leaning toward the screen.

For a mount, you might consider getting one of those tv wall mounts, providing Roberta approves. This would clear more real estate on your desk. These typically require 4 lag bolts into wall studs.

Major hint: make sure the bolt holes are level, as these mounts tend not to have any way to adjust for clock type rotation, and no slack in the size of the holes to shift it.

Lergnom said...

I use telephone directories for monitor height adjustment, and an Altoids can for setting the proper angle.
Stay safe

Steve Skubinna said...

People don't notice these small accommodations we make that add up, eventually, to significant muscular and skeletal problems.

Well, now you do. But I can't count the number of times I've adopted a sub-optimal posture or position for temporary expediency and later paid for it.

Sigivald said...

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=109&cp_id=10828&cs_id=1082808&p_id=5402&seq=1&format=2

A real arm mount is totally worth it.

The link is to a budget arm mount, which is almost as good and a lot cheaper.

Bubblehead Les. said...

I would say to stack "The Collective Wisdom of the Modern American Progressive Movement, Volumes 1-32" under the Monitor, but I think that would only raise it .0001 inches.

SPEMack said...

Lower back pain, especially the nagging aching kind is the worst.

My girlfriend jokes that I sound like an old man some mornings or after cutting the grass.

(I landed on my back after a very tactical exodus from a gloriously aflame Blackhawk that was lay on the spinny things after a negative helicopter-Dishka interaction led to a negative helicopter ground interaction)

Montana said...

Just stack some reams of paper under it. Adjustable monitor stand, first world solution.

heresolong said...

How about a stability ball chair or a kneeling chair rather than changing the monitor. Better for you in general.

Opinionated Grump (Rich in NC) said...

hook the PC to a 32 inch led tv...solve the scrunched back and older eye problems [even if your eyes aren't old yet] simultaneously.

[another 1st world problem solved by using the latest technology..... or put the monitor on a 4x4 which would be kinda older technology]

Rich in NC

Paul said...

Planks. I works and doesn't take much time. You want to really get sweating do planks for 30 second and then jumping jacks for thirty seconds and the repeat once or twice. When they get easy do more.