sixteen candles down the drain || every car a murder, every bicycle a love affair

12 February 2009

so keep your ergonomic chair i don’t care what my seating is

i’m now three days into my new job and it’s going well, but by yesterday i had noticed that my new desk-chair-computer arrangement was causing me discomfort. i had my previous office setup for over six years, but never did it occur to me that it was particularly ergonomic or suited to my body – it was just my desk and i sat in it however i wanted. the desk was little more than a piece of plywood on some 2×4′s with a raised stand for two flickering, ancient crt monitors and and old green chair that rapidly losing the upholstery from one corner. at the new fancy office with a crystal-clear lcd, adjustable chair and a nice new desk, i was frankly surprised to discover that my wrist and back were hurting. i did a little bit of the chair-adjust, keyboard move, monitor rotate shuffle (presumably much to the dismay of my officemate) but nothing seemed to alleviate it.

similarly, this evening i got around to measuring my bicycles. i’d had some conversations with alex about my swift folder and adjusting it to match the cockpit of my long haul trucker – a bike i knew fit me well for all types of riding. i set out with the measuring tape and lo and behold i was surprised to find that even though the swift folder is a 20″ wheeled aluminum fixed gear with bmx bars, it has the same bottom bracket-to-handlebar, bottom bracket-to-saddle, and saddle-to-handlebar measurements as the long haul trucker – down to a couple millimeters. the same held true for my trek. the pugsley was the outlier, primarily because it rocks (runs? rubs?) a lower saddle. across the board, without ever really consciously measuring out any of these bikes, i’d arrived at a very narrow range of comfortable lengths.

so, logically, i now feel an impetus to revisit my old workplace with a measuring tape and sort out the relevant distances that made me able to work there for many years without discomfort. and maybe i’ll take that old green chair, because for all it’s lack of adjustability, it sure never hurt my back.