Bodies Fit for Work

I have a compliant patient! Can you believe that?

On her first visit, we addressed the obvious observable issue of posture (forward shoulders forward head) and its role in her presenting complaint of upper back pain.

We talked about her workplace ergonomics, bent over a computer keyboard for the better part of each day. Oh, carpal tunnel-like symptoms, too? Let’s look at how you use your keyboard, your monitor placement, that sort of thing.

And you have stress at work? How remarkable!

And how often to you get up and move around? Do you do any stretches at work? NO? I’d suggest you find a freeware program that minimally reminds you to stop using the keyboard every 15-20 minutes or so.

She came back the second week having fully implemented everything we’d talked about. Matter of fact, with her input after the PT evaluation, her boss recommended “ergonomic keyboards” for everybody who wanted one.

And she told me about Ergocise, a free reminder-and-exercise program she found that I strongly suggest for ALL YOU GEEKS out there that forget you have an actual bricks-and-mortar body to tend to while you surf, browse, blog and chat. GO GET ERGOCISED!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Great job on the custom map!

    I’ve been wanting to do that for months and haven’t managed to make time for it.

    How long did it take you to do this much? Is this the custom Google Map API or something simpler?

  2. hmmm… i have trouble sitting still for very long and usually limit my time at the computer to 20 or max 30 minutes at a stretch, unless i am working on a long-term writing project… and i still break up those periods every hour or so. i also use one of those swoopy ergonomic curved keyboards. my fingers, arms, wrists, back, etc. never get tired. i have typed off & on all day may times without pain of any sort. also, i make sure i’m sitting in a comfortable chair with my feet flat on the floor. i do get up & stretch out, run up & down the stairs, do errands, water the flowers, check the greenhouse, chickenhouse, children, etc…. i recommend typing only when inspired. never sit at the keyboard staring & trying to think of what to say. get up & move around –not only will your back, but your brain will thank you by thinking up new & wonderful things to say when you go back & sit down!