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Topic: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

  1. #1

    OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

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    My body is telling me that I need to give some serious thought to how my workstation is set up. I\'m having a lot of pains in my shoulders and arm, and I\'m not that old! I\'d love to see pictures of other composers workstations, and also hear andy other ideas of how to set things up.

    I currently have a mouse pad on top of Triton Studio Pro X. I use two regular mice. My keyboard sits on top of the touch screen with a rest pad below it for my wrists. I have two flat panel monitors sitting directly behind the Triton- so no twisting and turning there. I have a Herman Miller Aeron chair, but after several months of using it, that hasn\'t solved everything. I believe the main problem is the angle of my arm resting on the Triton. The Triton is a thick keyboard- so when its adjusted for my legs to be positioned under it,I think the mouse pad ends up being a little too high.

    I\'m also curious how much of a difference tracking ball mice make, versus regular mice. I\'ve tried one before and it drove me nuts- but I didn\'t really give it enough time.



  2. #2

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    The angle of your arm with the mousing surface is a critical factor, and if it\'s too high you will feel the strain.

    Regarding the trackball versus a mouse, there is one huge advantage to a properly designed trackball - it permits you to work it \'from the side\' - by that I mean, with your wrist more vertical. Many mousing pains derive from the lower arm twist needed to make your wrist more horizontal in order to grasp the mouse from the sides. A close to vertical wrist is more ergonometric, and a trackball permitting \'side access\' (e.g. Logitech marble model) definitely eases the strain.

    A mousing platform under the Triton might help, \'even\' with the Triton\'s lower surface and projecting out towards you somewhat.


  3. #3

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    The Logitech Marble mouse is nice. There way better for me that regular mice. You dont move your wrist, just your first 2 fingers and your thumb. Once u get used to it its a bit faster as well. I think Im haveing the same problems u though Colin. as the marble mouse is sitting on top of my S80. I`m thinking of finding a \"mouse tray\" that will swivel out from underneath my Keyboard as to lower the angle of my arm, and the mouse. Ill let u know if i find anything [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ..Rich

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    I actually had to build a keyboard stand by hand in order to fit me ergonomically. It is more compact than most designs out there, and a heckuva lot cheaper. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] I\'ve had some experience building and refurbishing cabineture for musical instruments, having worked for Moog on a range of classic analog synths. So, I talked my dad into going with me to Home Depot and picking up enough cabinet grade plywood, edging, and hardware to build something that would look good in the studio and withstand being taken apart a few times. I knew that I was going to be moving to L.A., as at the time I built the kit I was in Raleigh, N.C. and it had to make the trip in good order within the month.

    I measured everything to fit around me, and made sure that my controller keyboard (a Kurzweil MIDIBoard) met the top of my knees at the correct height, much like a standard piano. The shelf above the keyboard was set such that the monitor in front of me was centered to my line of sight. I\'ve since changed monitors, and therefore have had to make some adjustments, but overall things have worked well.

    As far as arm, keyboard and mouse placement, that has worked out well too - if by a series of happy accidents. I started with wireless keyboard and mouse tucked in between the top of the MIDIBoard and the second shelf - within line of sight but not immediately under hand. I also have a Shuttle Pro2 transport controller that sits to the left of my keyboard.

    If I\'m doing a lot of mouse work (audio/VST automation editing, etc.) I tend to place the mouse on an oak TV tray to my right and the Shuttle to my left with the wireless keyboard in my lap for key commands. My wife has added a lap desk which I\'m still growing accustomed to. Anyway, the oad tables (and the occasional padded fold out stool) has made it as part of my semi-permanent studio furniture, as they are at the right height and seem to be the right size. I\'ll be doing some digital pics of my studio for a re-vamp of my web site, and will share some links to the layout later week.

    One more thing - my life (and my right arm/elbow) improved dramatically when I got a more comfortable chairs. I made sure to get one without arm rests, and when it came time to assemble it at home, I simply left off the back and bound the bar underneath to where I can\'t rock back. I was taught proper posture at the piano as a young lad by sitting on the front edge of a cushy leather piano stool, and going back some something close to that has improved my work sessions (as well as how I feel afterward) to a degree greater than any single addition of hardware or software to my studio.

    I\'m not a trackball guy either, but I could learn to be after working the ShuttlePro2 left-handed. This thing is slick and quick.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    A pen and tablet also eliminates the mouse-wrist-twist. The Wacom USB tablets work with the IOGEAR USB KVMPs. The only problem I find with the tablet is the transition time - you need to grab/replace the pen when you start/finish your cursor work. I\'ve never liked trackballs.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    I don\'t like trackballs.Too imprecise; they slow me down.

    For me the answer is to have the keyboard and mouse about 1\' from the front of the desk. That makes your forearm the pivot point for the mouse and takes all the strain off your shoulders when you\'re typing.

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    Best thing i ever did was attach a little shelf at 90 degrees to my keyboard shelf with a C-clamp and rest my mousepad on that. it sticks out about a foot and keeps me from having to reach forward to use my mouse.

    i also have my midi keyboard set off to my right instead of directly in front of me-i need to keep both of them low enough to get a good angle. i\'ll see if i can scrounge up a picture.

    i used to have big problems with my wrists, but i can keep them in check if i watch how i work, stretch a lot, exercise regularly and watch what i eat (it\'s true!). i guess i\'m a freak (at least that\'s what people keep telling me).

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Ergonomic Work Stations

    I second the marble mouse.

    it took a little getting used to, but now I cant use mice as good as the marble mouse.

    as for it being imperfect..... remember I do ALOT of editing [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    its just about getting used to it. I\'ve got two one for my laptop and one for the desktops. Its INCREDIBLY comfy on the lap, since I get to sit it right next to me on the couch.

    I want to attach it to my workstation chair\'s arm for the desktops!!!

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