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Thread: Desk/Computer chair?

  1. #1
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    Desk/Computer chair?

    I'm (finally) getting some consulting work so spending far more time working at my computer. Unfortunately, something about this is steadily increasing my baseline pain levels and I'm thrashed after a few hours. I shift position frequently and take breaks but there seems to be no getting away from increasing pain with increasing chair time.

    So I'm curious if there are modifications/upgrades I could make to my chair or if there are better task chairs designed for paras/quads with good lumbar, etc. with some ability to self propelled and lock wheels for transfers.

    My current chair is a TiLite Aero T with a Varilite Evolution cushion with a Varilite Icon Low back.

    Thanks for any input.
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  2. #2
    Assuming you had a seating and wheelchair evaluation by an occupational or physical therapist, your wheelchair is probably set up properly for your daily needs. Before trying to do something to your chair, I'd suggest looking at the set up of your desk and computer. The exception to this is may be the low back isn't giving you enough support.

    Is the desk too high or too low? Do you hunch over the desk or sit relatively straight? Are your shoulders raised up toward your ears when you work?

    Is the computer screen at eye level or just slightly below? It is easier on your neck and back if the screen is at eye level or just below. Looking level or down is easier on the back, shoulders and neck than looking up.

    Are your arms supported when you type at the key board? Is the keyboard low enough that your elbows are bent at or about 90? to the keyboard when you type?

    Is your hand resting comfortably and flat on the mouse, wrist isn't cocked up? Do you tilt you wrist to one side or the other when you use your mouse, or is your wrist relaxed and straight? Is your mouse too high?

    Are your footrests flat or slightly angled up?

    Are your knees bent at about 90?-110? or are they tucked back further than that?

    Do you take frequent breaks? Get away from the desk, roll around the house or go outside for a break. Do some arm/shoulder exercises and stretches.

  3. #3
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    Actually my fit was far from analytical and a refit was mostly "how does this seem?" and even my chair isn't a good fit for my body as my right shin rests against the fork leaving a mark. One of my shift positions includes hanging my right foot off the foot rest to prevent the pressure point.
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zagam's Avatar
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    An adjustable desk with nothing under it should work with a wheelchair.

    As I walk a bit I have a KAB Seating "Controller" with an adjustable desk but I have to watch my butt with this.
    http://www.kabseating.com.au/Product/kab-controller

    GP told me not to sit for too long.

    Can use a cushion with the seat if it's tall enough.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mize View Post
    Actually my fit was far from analytical and a refit was mostly "how does this seem?" and even my chair isn't a good fit for my body as my right shin rests against the fork leaving a mark. One of my shift positions includes hanging my right foot off the foot rest to prevent the pressure point.
    Could you arrange to have a seating evaluation with an occupational (OT) or physical therapist (PT)? A review of your seating and positioning might be a good thing to do at just about 1-1/2 years post injury. It would be better now to correct some problems than allow them to become chronic. OTs and PTs can give you an opinion on your work space set up along with the seating evaluation. This might be a lot cheaper than throwing more money at the problem you are having if some simple things can be done to make you generally more comfortable in your chair. Unless and until a cure comes along, you'll likely be in the chair a fair number of years. Try to correct these problems now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Where is the increased pain located? My extended seating related pain is in my back, around my fixation (~T12) and is muscular. I have a couple of chairs setup for different things, one of which I call my 'Lazy Boy'. It's setup with a MUCH higher back than I need for most of my rolling around, but really does help when I'm just sitting around the house for extended periods. Center of gravity is WAY back, the back goes from low lumbar up to just below my shoulder blades (16" Roho/ADI), and is reclined to ~94 degrees. Completely impractical for anything other than just sitting there. It also has a mid-profile Roho cushion, since stability doesn't really matter in this application, and leaning back causes a more forward sheering force than normal. I use a padded lap table for keyboard/mouse.
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  7. #7
    Could you use a standing wheelchair with a powered standing desk? A Helium standing manual chair costs about $13k new but can be found on ebay for less than $5k. A nice standing desk costs less than $1k. I doubt that you would want to stand all day, but it's a great relief for an hour or two at a time. Alternating up and down during the day might help.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    Where is the increased pain located? My extended seating related pain is in my back, around my fixation (~T12) and is muscular. I have a couple of chairs setup for different things, one of which I call my 'Lazy Boy'. It's setup with a MUCH higher back than I need for most of my rolling around, but really does help when I'm just sitting around the house for extended periods. Center of gravity is WAY back, the back goes from low lumbar up to just below my shoulder blades (16" Roho/ADI), and is reclined to ~94 degrees. Completely impractical for anything other than just sitting there. It also has a mid-profile Roho cushion, since stability doesn't really matter in this application, and leaning back causes a more forward sheering force than normal. I use a padded lap table for keyboard/mouse.
    It's at or below my fusion. I seem to be developing sensation of muscle spasm and pain below my fusion (T5-T9) all the way down to my butt. There's no skin sensation (touch) but some pressure sensitivity. I can definitely feel stretching as I twist one way or another. I get consistent sharp pain on the right side of T9 but the rest often feels like muscle cramps along the spinal erectors below the injury. I do much better in a more reclined position but my chair can't do this.

    94 degrees doesn't seem that reclined (since 90 is bolt upright). The low back I have is actually below my sensation level so I think I'm slightly wobbly just from not being able to feel the back.
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_aftermath View Post
    Could you use a standing wheelchair with a powered standing desk? A Helium standing manual chair costs about $13k new but can be found on ebay for less than $5k. A nice standing desk costs less than $1k. I doubt that you would want to stand all day, but it's a great relief for an hour or two at a time. Alternating up and down during the day might help.

    I actually have a Tek-RMD that I've considered using as you mention, but I'm not sure where I'd put another desk! That's a pretty high desk too, but I think being able to stand would help as, for whatever reason, my back doesn't develop the pain levels when I stand the way it does when I sit.
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  10. #10
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    I'm in that parked in front of a computer club, and I get where youre coming from. No real way to avoid the 8 hour squirmy pain thing, I did alleviate a lot of that by moving to the evening shift where being really slumped over sideways on my desk or wandering around was more workplace acceptable when I'm the only guy there. For home issues, one thing I did several years back was this...

    I got one of these things for the computer monitor:



    Then I got a length of aluminum pipe and flange, and screwed it to the floor next to a movie theater seat with electric recline. Made for a nice changing seating position computer station, with a real seat vs. some perch on a wheelchair. Don't have a pic to show on this computer, and I took that setup down since retiring that thing so no pic now, but hopefully you get the idea

    Arm support is something to think about also when addressing this stuff.

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