So I decided to tidy my desk a bit.
The desk and chair* I use are actually hand me-downs. The desk used to be my sister’s and the chair use to be in my dad’s office/work. I like to live by the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ motto.
So, I have a bit of a (long) story to tell…
Both my parents are very DIY. My mother made clothes and school uniforms for my sister and I, and my father designed and built an extension/kitchen to our house. He also made almost all of my bedroom furniture too, so in a way it was custom-designed just for me and from a young age I grew up loving to design and build/make things.
I’d been using the same desk that I had since I was 11 years old and when I got my very own computer (that I didn’t have to share with my sister (a mac!)) it occured to me that it would no longer do as a computer desk. So my dad made me another desk, completely 100% ergonomical. I studied a computer- related subject in high school and I remember very clearly all the ergonomic principles.
Soon after, whilst I was studying at university, we also had a subject which touched on this matter…
So, it really astounds me when I see people’s computers/monitors sitting flat on a desk with no support or riser. I see this time and time again in people’s homes and offices and I feel pain in my neck just thinking about it! It can’t be good if you are using a computer for 6 or more hours a day.
When I first got my iMac last year I was so excited I forgot all about those ergonomic principles. So for several months I had it sitting on my desk, just like anyone else would. But after a while I realized I was slouching and hunched over and that the monitor was in fact too low! So I propped it up with 2 Yellow Pages (which are free and perfect for this purpose).
Things have been great since then. I have my (lowered) pull-out keyboard tray, my footrest, and my monitor is raised to the correct eye level. But, every day I kept looking at the eyesore that is the bright yellow and colorful covers of the Yellow Pages so I finally resolved to do something about it!
I got a piece of $1.50 A2 (metric) size black cardboard and covered the 2 phonebooks (like you would a gift). And now i think it looks much better!
More photos on my Flickr
Now, back to the * chair. This is also going back a number of years now when I was in university and living at home. One day my dad came home with 3 swivel desk chairs he got from work either for free or cheaply. Two of them looked like your standard heavily padded gas-lift chair, but there was one special one. One, just for me. So much for my ergonomic principles. The chair I had been using was falling apart and the height was not adjustable! Ha. I kind of ‘forget’ about those ergonomic principles sometimes and hadn’t done anything about it.
My mother was confused and annoyed at my father for bringing home an old, used chair. Admittedly the fabric was faded and torn, and the foam had worn down, but the framework of the chair was in perfect condition and the gas lift still performed flawlessly. And I actually don’t like heavily padded chairs, unless the padding is very very firm. My father had grand plans for this chair. He wanted to re-upholster it! Now this doesn’t sound strange until you consider the fact that he is an engineer and the most unfashionable person on the planet. For him, things need to work, not be beautiful. I didn’t have much say in the matter but I wasn’t complaining! He said he found someone to re-upholster it and brought home a big book of fabric swatches. I am not sure what possessed me to choose this particular blue damask fabric (given my room was white and pink) but now I am really used to it. I love this chair because, apart from being comfortable and functional, I know it was just for me. Looking at the bottom of it, it says it is made in West Germany (that’s how old it is) and imported into Australia. It has a stainless steel/chrome frame and solid wooden base. You can’t get that kind of quality these days!
Submitted to WhereWeDoWhatWeDo
I’m a stickler for details, so here are the details if anyone is interested.
• Computer – Apple iMac 20″ 2.66Ghz (2008 model)
• Keyboard 1 – smokey grey keyboard that came with my Powermac G4
• Keyboard 2 – Apple wireless, thin/flat white keyboard that came with my iMac
• Mouse – InTopic brand, bought in Taiwan. Looks and works like Logitech ones.
• Graphics Tablet and Pen – Silver Wacom Bamboo Fun 4×6″
• iPod – 40Gb iPod photo with silicon cover
• USB card reader – Maxell SD card reader/flash drive
• Photo frame – Agfa photo 8″ multimedia digital photo frame
• Camera 1 – Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) DSLR
• Camera 2 – Canon G9
For those wondering why I have 2 keyboards, I have the older bigger one as a back-up when my wireless keyboard dies, or when I really need F-keys or the numeric keypad or page up/down buttons. So I sort of use both. And I use the Wacom as a mouse.
Oh, and Happy Easter! Hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns.