welcome to my achy breaky world

August 13, 2010 § 4 Comments

I’m kneeling on a kneeling chair as I write, but I keep sliding off. The chair was recommended to me by my massage therapist, Beth, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year—ever since I got the chair, which I got because I slightly screwed up my hip and back from bad sitting habits in my previous chair whose pricey, ergodynamically correct engineering is completely wasted on me given that I sit cross-legged, or with alternating feet tucked under my bottom.

I remember the instructions for the kneeling chair said something like…  this chair is not made for extensive kneeling; try to keep most of your weight off your knees and on your butt. Maybe it said derierre.

In any case I’ve never really understood how to work it and am pretty sure I’m doing it wrong because my back and hip still hurt. Also my knees now. Makes me long for the days when my only complaint was excruciatingly tight shoulder and neck muscles that even Beth found shocking.

I’m guessing that a certain amount of ache is part of the territory, that anyone who sits for long periods obsessing about semi colons or whether to use the word ‘car’ or ‘vehicle’ is eventually the beneficiary of a few sore parts and maybe also the owner of a few gadgets to help ease the soreness (heat packs, massage thingies, roller wotsits, cedar blocks for yoga stretches, Theraband bands for other stretches—all of which only work, I’ve discovered, if you use them).

Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m a wimp, or have some unique structural problems. (Actually, least said about structural problems right now the better…)

So I got the kneeling chair and what I’ve been doing is alternating between it, the original chair, and a medium sized Theraband ball, which, when I told a physiotherapist I sat on while working, she laughed, called an associate into the room and had me repeat the story so they could share a professional chuckle.

Despite its apparent effect on physiotherapists, the ball works rather well for me. Furthermore, my chiropractor, whom I also haven’t seen since winter, said it should be fine.

Anyway, moving between these three seats I’ve noticed that—in addition to giving me much needed breaks in my position (because it rarely occurs to me to do anything as simple as stand up and stretch)—I’ve developed a preference for sitting differently for different tasks. For instance, revising is best done on the bouncy Theraband and almost impossible to do effectively on the kneeling chair (which I prefer for composing). Emails are more cheerfully answered, and less often misunderstood, if I write from one of various contortions on the ergo chair, whereas, for on-line reading, I go back to the Theraband. And so on.

Here’s what worries me: at some point will I need a fourth chair?

If so, I’m thinking lawn chair (one of the most brilliantly designed chairs of all time). I’m also thinking spiral notebook instead of screen, pen instead of keyboard… seagull voice, negative ions, beach glass, stones for skipping. Lunch in a paper sack.

In fact that may be exactly what my achy self needs. Not ergo wotsits.

And it just occurred to me—that’s twice in less than two weeks my rambling has led to the same place.

Right. Enough kneeling and bouncing and moaning. I’m off.

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§ 4 Responses to welcome to my achy breaky world

  • That chair is a bit frightening. I have a bad habit of sitting with one foot tucked, too. Bah. I really need to take up yoga or something.

    • carin says:

      Brenda — you’re right. It IS a little scary now that I see it on the page. Something about context I think. In real life it’s only mildly creepy. Okay. More than mildly… (As for yoga, every day I place my mat on the floor behind my desk with good intentions of breathing or stretching every hour or so, but when — er, if – I get around to it, I find the cat sleeping there. What’a a cranky achy writer to do??)

  • I used to have one of those kneeling chairs when I worked in an office. I found it took a bit of getting used to, but I was never converted entirely. Ditto for the exercise ball, which I found hurt the small of my back,probably more indicative of my bad posture than the ball it self.

    Interesting idea of having different chairs for different kinds of writing. I have heard of writers using different typewriters (some scribes still use them) for different drafts of a story. I suppose some writers work on various drafts in various locales (cafe, library, office, etc.)

    I have two chairs in my office. A comfortable office chair at my desk and an easy chair that flips back. I tend to use the office chair for focused writing sessions and the easy chair (flipped back with the laptop resting between my abdomen and thighs, a physiotherapist’s nightmare) for surfing, blogging and some revisions. But not exclusively because I tend to switch around, depending on my mood.

    BTW: I have been getting back into the blog and it is synced up to my Twitter and FB. Interesting to see the posts show up as tweets and updates.

    Best, Steve

    • carin says:

      Steve — You have an office?? And a ‘comfortable office chair’…? Sigh. I have an ‘area’ and, well, you’ve seen the chair… (I do have two very nice windows, however.) Interesting to know you also switch seats depending on mood — am guessing this is more common than I’d originally thought.

      Great to see you back on Blogjam, BTW. I’ll be popping in regularly!

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