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Ergonomics for Computer / Mouse / Keyboard Use
Old 27th September 2007
Gear Nut

Ergonomics for Computer / Mouse / Keyboard Use

Hello Folks

I am a songwriter / composer / arranger. I have been struggling with achieving a position that is both convenient (and healthy) for computer keyboard and electronic keyboard use (not to mention the mouse). I have tried desks that either optimize one, or the other, but not both. What has worked for you, and what hasn't? The requirements for piano and computer use are pretty similar ...

Sit at such a height and distance from the keyboard that your arms are naturally bent and your fingers fall on the white keys easily and can reach the black keys when stretched out a little.
Keep your forearms level with the keyboard, with your elbows a little higher.
Old 27th September 2007
Lives for gear

I hear you man. I suffer badly from this as well. I assume you're familiar with the basics such as trackballs and wrist pads (or whatever they're called in english).

A few things that I've found helps:

* Working out. I do this regularly, but whenever I have a break from it because of injury or whatever, my RSI gets worse.

* "Active relaxation". As a guitarist I had to learn this when my pain was really bad, otherwise I couldn't play the many hours I wanted. I believe the most important parts to relax i your shoulders and neck since a lot of arm pain really comes from there in the first place.

* Stretching exercises. Stand up and walk around, stretch your arms and so on, every once in a while.

* Keep a clean desk. For a long time I had almost no space on my desk which resulted in very awkward positions. Keep a lot of space on your desk.

* Get a control surface. I'm in market for one myself. I would really love something that lets me control the whole she-bang, like an ICON, Fairlight or whatever. Unfortunately I'm only human and don't find dollar bills in my toilet when I take a crap.

I've actually thought about mixing OTB for this purpose, not to find cash in my ****, but because I could turn knobs and move faders instead of looking for the plug-in of choice with the damned mouse. Unfortunately, I think it would be hard because of the way I work. Automatic recall is not to be taken lightly in my biz.

I've also been thinking about one of those pen & tablet-thingies or whatever they're called. They could help. Also a touch screen.
Old 27th September 2007
Gear Nut

Stiff ... thanks for all of the great tips. A smart keyboard manufacturer would make an integrated keyboard, basic ontrol surface, computer keyboard and trackball, although even extending your arms a couple inches to a keyboard can put your position out of whack.

Very true about keeping a clean desk ... when you have to snake around junk, you get into awkward positions.

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