104 keys: who needs them anyway?

I fired up my desktop Windows PC for the first time in a while recently, and the first thing I realised is that I absolutely hated the keyboard. This was nothing to do with the slight differences between the PC and Mac keyboard layouts, the latter of which I’ve become more accustomed over the last couple of years, nor was it about whether the keys were mechanical or scissor switched, or any such nuance.

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Laptop ergonomics really do suck

Laptops are great, of course, whether you’re travelling or just enjoying the flexibility of having a PC wherever you want in the house at any one time, instead of closeted in a fixed location. But if there’s one dimension in which they suck (barring upgradability - but then modern laptops are pretty nippy these days), it’s ergonomics. Laptops are excluded from the design standards that regular PCs have to adhere to, simply because it’s hard for them to comply within the form factor we expect.

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Part high-chair, part bronco simulator

My new chair arrived today, packed into a surprisingly small box thanks to the marvels of German engineering (or something). A deft bit of allen key action later, and it was ready to go. Initial impressions are that it’s going to take some getting used to. The gas lift does indeed go high enough to use with a standing height desk, and it’s very solidly built and very stable, which is good when you’re perched that high.

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War on chairs (and on the causes of chairs)

It’s been a whole week since I discarded my office chair and switched to a stand-up desk so, I’m guessing some of you are wondering how it’s gone. Well, let’s start with the difficulties. Standing up for 8+ hours a day is tough on the feet, or at least on feet that have gotten used to taking it easy for most of the day - even with the odd break I’ve found my feet are extremely painful by the evening (those who work in retail are no doubt rolling their eyes by now and calling me a wuss).

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Refactoring the home office

back ergonomics Health office

I’ve been thinking for a while that I needed to get a new chair for my home office - the one I have now is 15 years old and doesn’t even have a lumbar support (so I supplement it with cushions). However, good chairs are expensive, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted - I had a more modern chair when I used to work in an office, and that still didn’t stop me getting back problems, and most recently I’ve had thorasic-region problems which aren’t directly addressed by a lumbar support anyway.

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