My New Ergonomic Writing Habitat

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my ongoing struggle with back pain.  I am happy to report that I’ve been doing much better, in large part because I finally got myself an actual desk for writing.  Here’s what the old setup looked like:

My "comfy" writing chair

My “comfy” writing chair

Short-term, it is actually a pretty comfortable chair, but sitting in it for hours every day, hunching over a laptop, was torturing my poor back.  You’ll notice the lumbar roll, which was my meager attempt a couple years ago to give my back the support it needed.  In hindsight, I think it may have actually been counterproductive; compared to the bare chair, it was comfortable enough that I didn’t notice for too long that I still had a problem.

Fast forward to this spring.  After lots of online research, measurements of me and the available space, and several trips to go sit in every office chair I could find within 20 miles, here’s what I put together:


The key here is the laptop stand and the new keyboard and trackpad, which lets me put the screen at eye level and keep my hands down where they belong.  The chair is not as fancy as some available, but it’s got good support, and I was able to take off the arms (or rather, not put them on to begin with) to keep them from straining my shoulders.  There’s a footrest hiding under the desk that lets me adjust my chair to the height of the desk, and keep that neutral ergonomic posture that was so lacking before.

I won’t pretend this new desk has magically increased my productivity—it hasn’t—but back pain was an easy and guilt-free excuse to not write, and one that I am heartily glad to be rid of.

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