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MMD > Archives > July 2004 > 2004.07.21 > 03Prev  Next

Workbench Ergonomics
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I doubt that Bryan Cather's problem is related to the
workbench.  Rather, I think it's the way he rested his head on his
elbow at the concert.  I say that because I occasionally lay on the
floor when I watch TV at night, and sometimes I'm too lazy to get
a pillow to prop up my head.  So, I rest my head on my elbow.

Big Mistake!  It only takes about 10 minutes -- even if I move from
side to side -- before my neck and upper back are in pain.

Oddly enough, I don't usually realize how much pain I am in until
I try to get up.  Then I feel dumb and I get my pillow, and all is
right again within a few minutes.  Unfortunately, I usually get up
the next morning with a slight ache.

Most people are unaware of the tremendous strain put on your neck
and upper back muscles when you use them to support the weight of your
upper torso.  Plainly put, they weren't designed to handle the weight.
Frankly, they were designed to handle the weight of your head which
is only about 11-14 pounds.  Propped up on one elbow, those same
muscles are subjected to a weight of over 30 pounds.  A similar strain
would be like holding a 45 caliber pistol at arms length for ten
minutes.  Most people can't do it!

My advice, use a pillow next time....  


John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Wed 21 Jul 2004, 03:06:33 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ergonomics, Workbench

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