Posts

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Ivar Pack- Good ergonomics for a backpack

ivar_shelf_designivar comparison

Chronic neck and shoulder pain is often exacerbated by people carrying too much on their backs, especially for those in metropolitan areas that need to carry their belongings throughout the day or students that are lugging around heavy text books.

The Ivar pack attempts to evenly distribute the weight of the pack, bringing items closer to your body (to decrease the torque load) and stacking the weight vertically.  The larger packs have a waist strap which takes the stress off the shoulders and distributes the weight through the pelvis, which is even better.  Although the best strategy to relieve pain is to lighten the load, the Ivar may be a good solution for those unable change their ways.

Ivar, The Backpack Reinvented

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Backjoy

The Backjoy introduces a different approach to seat ergonomics as it cradles the pelvis to sit in an upright position.  The two traditional methods of offering back support include maintaining the lumbar lordosis with a cushion or sitting on an angled surface to wedge the pelvis in an upright position.  The idea of cradling the pelvis into a vertical position is an appealing approach as it creates a better base for the lumbar spine to sit on.  I haven’t tried the Backjoy but a patient with sacroiliac instability swears by it.

Backjoy

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GOSA MÅBÄR- an affordable body pillow from IKEA


Body pillows can be a great sleep aid but they tend to be fairly expensive. IKEA has a very affordable body pillow called the GOSA MÅBÄR which is about 3 ft long and is ideal for wrapping your arm or leg around to help maintain better posture while sleeping.

GOSA MÅBÄR

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Ergo Baby Carrier- PTANY approved for our low back patients!

Ergo Baby Carrier

Low back pain is one of the most common ailments we see after people become new parents.  Often due to poor ergonomics/body mechanics, a person can do herself/himself a favor by limiting stress to their body.  The Ergo Baby Carrier is one of the few products that does exactly that. By distributing the weight of the baby through the pelvis rather than the upper body, there is much less chance of straining the upper back muscles.  I know from experience as we switched from another carrier when we had our daughter.
Makes a great gift for those not knowing what to get for a baby shower!

Ergo Baby Carrier

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Another Laptop Stand – The Griffin Elevator

The Elevator

Just found this on Lifehacker– a much cheaper way to elevate your laptop than the Ergotron. The benefit of the Elevator is that it allows for ventilation under the computer but it does take up more real estate than the Ergotron.
The Elevator- $40 from Griffin

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Save your back- EZ Reacher

EZ Reacher

If you find yourself constantly reaching into high or low places, or if you have bad knees, the EZ reacher might just be the thing to prevent low back strain. I originally found this on Cool Tools, which gave it a favorable review for durability and ease of use. It might be the perfect thing to give an inflamed knee or back time to heal, especially after a surgery.

At Amazon for $17

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A monitor stand for Mac fans

Stand By Mi
One of the first recommendations I give to patients with neck/back pain is to raise their monitor to eye level and not to use a laptop as their primary computer. The most resistance I get is from, of course, Mac users because they don’t want to ruin the aesthetic of their setup. I just purchased a iMac and it was the most uncomfortable computer to work on until I raised it a few inches!
Hopefully the Stand by Mi can fill that functional void as it raises your monitor 3.3″. The platform looks like it will support an iMac and it has 4 USB 2.0 ports.
update:  the Stand By Mi no longer seems to be available, there is a similar product here.  It even raises the iMac a little higher.
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Bookholder: ergonomic book/document holder

bookholder

Bookholder is a highly adjustable bookstand that my brother turned me onto quite a while ago. The feature that impressed me most was that he could lie completely flat in bed while reading a book as it hovered above his head. For those with aching necks, this can be a godsend. People often have neck pain because they hold a poor posture while working on the computer or reading documents. This product allows your work to adapt to your good posture, rather than your posture adapting to your work.
It comes in desk and floorstand model.
Bookholder

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Ergotron Monitor Stand

I always loved the old G4 iMac adjustable monitor and thought Apple should have built upon it in their future designs. So many neck injuries are related to prolonged computer use and I thought the iMac might start a trend in better computer ergonomics. Unfortunately, they dropped the ilamp idea and pursued a cleaner, sleeker design.

During my search for a LCD Monitor stand I came across the Ergotron Neoflex. It pretty much fits the bill for a small footprint, multi-adjustable stand. Not as smooth as the iMac, but it does the job.

This new version looks mechanically similar to the iMac, as well as more durable, but I haven’t tested it yet.

Ergotron LX

I’m a firm believer that laptops should only be used for mobile computing unless attached to an external monitor. The posture it encourages places too much strain on the neck and wrists. Another option is to get the laptop version and use it with an external keyboard.

ergotron notebook stand