A Laptop is not Good for Me

spondylolisthesis

spondylolisthesis

As I write this, I am waiting for the results of an MRI of my neck that I had done yesterday. 

I have been seeing a chiropractor for several years.  At first we were working through my spondylolisthesis in my lower back which is the result of my “fractured” pars interarticularis.

Spondylolisthesis is the forward displacement of a vertebra, especially the fifth lumbar vertebra, most commonly occurring after a break or fracture.

The discovery of this condition was the reason why I stopped practicing karate several years ago.  In August 2014, I took up yoga in hopes of continuing with some sort of healthy low impact movement and exercise.  On December 12, 2014 I experienced a rush of warmth from my lower back to my left foot as I was performing the triangle pose.  I then started experiencing numbness in my foot and in January 2015, the chiropractor upped my adjustments and treatment to help calm the condition.

As we worked through this condition, the chiropractor continued to find that my neck needed continual adjustment and would not stay in alignment.  We were aware of the slight loss of my S curve in my neck and a few pieces of capsulated vertebrae, but through muscle testing it became evident that something was wrong with my neck and was impacting the strength and use of my arms.

The suspicion is that I have a bulging disc in my neck somewhere and thus the MRI yesterday.
What does this have to do with technology and using a laptop?

Through this process, my chiropractor asked to see my typical working conditions…desk, chair, computer, etc.

I provided the following images:

Standing desk at the shepherd's House

Standing desk at the shepherd's House

sitting desk at home

sitting desk at home

He indicated that all of this had to change…the chair, the use of a laptop, the standing at a desk…all of it.

So I embarked an a radical transformation of my working environment.  Since I do not have an office and/or specific desk at The Shepherd’s House, I began to change how I work at home.

Staples Hyken Technical mesh chair

Staples Hyken Technical mesh chair

THE CHAIR

Starting with the chair, it was imperative that the chair provide lower back support and that I use the support.  Holding my back in position with my muscles alone was causing strain on my back and neck.  Therefore, I found a chair that provided strong lumbar support.

THE COMPUTER

Ideally, my chiropractor told me to throw away the laptop.  Laptops are one of the worst culprits in the workplace for creating poor positioning and posture of our necks, especially for those of us with diminishing S curves.

Well, my MacBook Air was new 8 months prior and an intentional purchase to lighten my briefcase load of caring my computer between The Shepherd’s House and home each day.  I was not in a financial position to jettison the laptop in favor of a desktop computer.  Besides, there is little to no room at home for a desktop computer.

So the challenge became: How do I raise the monitor of the laptop to a level even with my eyes so I am not looking down at the monitor anymore?

PAD17-T2

PAD17-T2

Enter the PAD17-T2 desktop laptop and tablet clamp holder set.

THE PAD17-T2

I had to find a way to continue to use my laptop, but I had to get it up high enough so that I was looking directly at the monitor instead of with my head tilted down.

At first I tried setting my laptop on a monitor stand.  But it took up too much space on my already small desk in our bedroom and it really didn’t raise the monitor up high enough.

I then started to scour the Internet for options.  After looking at several options, I landed on the PAD17-T2 clamp which would actually allow me to use an extra iPad as a secondary monitor.

bluetooth keyboard and trackpad

bluetooth keyboard and trackpad

THE MOUSE AND KEYBOARD

With my laptop hovering above the desktop surface, I needed another mouse and keyboard.  I love apple products and therefore purchased a wired USB keyboard and a wireless Apple Magic Trackpad.

The wired USB keyboard was too big for my desk and so I traded with our Mac mini computer in the living room for a wireless bluetooth apple keyboard.

apple magic mouse

apple magic mouse

After a month of use, the one change I would make would be to go with an Apple Magic Mouse instead of the Trackpad.