Sit up and don’t slouch

I’ve just been trying out the suggestions on Jeff Atwood’s post on Computer Workstation Ergonomics.

I’ve known for ages that my seating position when at my computer is wrong; I’m a terrible sloucher you see.

Fortunately I’ve never experienced any back pain from it, so I’ve just carried on doing it.

But at the back of my mind I’ve always suspected that at some point I will experience some ill effects from it and I’ll regret my years of slouching.

So, Jeff’s post provided me with the impetus (and information) to do something about it.

Following the graphics and suggestions of Jeff’s site, I adjusted my chair (the only thing I can adjust) to match the ideal image (back straight, knees bent at 90 degree angles, eyes in line with top of monitor etc).

I’m in that position now as I type this post.

Some initial observations:

  • It feels strange, not uncomfortable, but I do keep getting the urge to slouch downwards – fortunately the new set-up pretty much prevents me from slouching and still being able to type at the keyboard.

  • I’m a little achy from spending much of the bank holiday weekend riding my new bike, so it’ll take me a few days to determine if any aches and pains are bike related or chair related.

  • I’m finding new reasons to learn to touch type! One of the guidelines is to use my chair armrests to support my elbows – for me this means that my left hand can only comfortably reach the left side of the keyboad, and vice versa for my right hand. What I am finding now is that as I type, sometimes my left hand instinctively tries to press a key on the right hand side of the keyboard (and vice versa, I type with both hands), which means that my arm then lifts off the armrest. I need to learn to touch type properly so that my arm doesn’t have to lift up.

  • My left elbow no longer hurts from resting on the (stupid) curved desk – woohoo!

I need to do the same at home now, and then monitor the situation long term.

Errrr…

I’ve just been asked to track time for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Just as well I keep detailed notes about this sort of thing.

Client presentations

I attended a client pitch yesterday.

As in, we were pitching to a potential client.

I had to stand up and waffle on about technology choices for ten minutes.

Needless to say I was terrified beforehand but when I got up there it all went reasonably well.

As a programmer I’m not really comfortable standing at the front of a room talking in a loud voice while everyone looks at me.

It took some degree of will power to force myself to get up there and project my voice.

I had some print outs of my slides with notes all over them, but I ended up not referring to them at all – I pretty much remembered everything.

I rushed through one or two parts a bit too fast, and got stuck where I couldn’t explain “session migration” without using the words “session” and “migration” (this was to a largely non-technical audience).

I also didn’t make enough eye contact apparently.

Some things to improve on then, and next time (if there is a next time) I won’t be anywhere near as nervous.

I did manage to make them laugh though, which is always a bonus.