Since first developing RSI a couple years ago, I’ve made some changes in my computer habits, and I’ve been gradually revamping my home office (I work from home, so spend a lot of time there) to be more ergonomic. I’../../../2005/01/igesture_review.html”>iGesture (mouse replacement), the Kinesis Contour Keyboard (review forthcoming), a break reminder program, and the Herman Miller Aeron Chair. The one thing I haven’t done anything with yet is my desk.
Currently, I have this Office Depot… thing (the one that takes so long to assemble that it alone seems like it could give you Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). There’s a slide out keyboard ledge, and it’s really not at the right height to allow me to type without raising my arms from the natural 90 degree angle (with your upper arm) the experts recommend. Instead, I’ve been typing with my keyboard in my lap. I’ve thought about removing the slide out dealie and attaching an adjustable Kinesis (or similar) keyboard tray, but it seems strange to have a keyboard tray that costs twice as much as the desk. And I can’t help but wonder if there’s a better desk option out there.
I’ve looked into those full-blown ergonomic workstations like the Microsphere and the PCE (this one is targeted more toward gamers), but they seem a little extreme for me (and expensive). Even with the writing desk attachments, I don’t think I’d find myself with enough room to spread out with the Microsphere. I have numerous stacks of papers and books scattered around my desk in medias res as it were. In other words, I need lots of room not just for computing but for writing notes and such by hand.
So, this is a long rambling post to declare my intentions to hunt for a desk that is either nicely ergonomic in nature or (more likely) would have plenty of room and work well with a keyboard tray that I would buy separately. I’ve also come across desks that can be raised and lowered (so, you can change things up, sometimes sitting to work at the computer and sometimes standing). There’s something appealing to me in that idea, too, and from what I’ve read, there’s some science that suggests moving around, engaging the big muscles, promoting oxygen flow, etc. can help stave off RSI kind of symptoms.
It’ll probably take me a couple of months to find something I want to invest in, so if anyone wants to posts any thoughts about ergonomic desks/workstations that have worked well for them, that would be welcome.