Lindsay Holmwood has written about the benefits of a standing desk and how to buy one [1]. The case for avoiding sitting is strong, but I couldn’t stand up all day.

One thing that’s been on my list of things to do if I had an unreasonably large amount of spare time or money is to make a reclining computer station. The idea would be to take a bed and mount a TFT display above it so that it can be viewed while lying down. Then a split keyboard would be required so that each hand can be used for half the keys (this would be difficult or expensive). If the keyboard halves were aligned correctly then it would reduce the carpal tunnel problems associated with computer use (which has been a big problem for me in the past and is something that I will probably never fully recover from [2]). As far as I am aware the risk of back problems is eliminated when lying down, so two of the major problems with regular computer desks would be avoided.

I don’t think that lying down all day would be that great and it wouldn’t work for collaborative projects. But as monitors are so cheap nowadays it would be viable to have a second monitor at a desk connected to the same computer. Then I could spend about half my computer time lying down.

3 comments to Desks

  • niq

    I do a fair chunk of my computing work lying flat on my back. It is indeed good for the back, but the value of it over and above that is that I can vary it with different postures when the back or neck threaten trouble.

    I don’t have anything elaborate rigged up. Just a 13″ laptop does the job. Rest it on the chest with the centre of gravity straight up from where it’s resting, so the hands aren’t bearing weight to keep it upright, and all is comfort! Just so long as you don’t have this kind of mac trouble.

  • No one

    Split keyboards are not particularly expensive. I bought a Kinesis Freestyle after I had surgery on my elbow. It cost about $100US.

  • etbe

    niq: Some years ago I did that with a Thinkpad. One problem is that the base of the laptop was on my thighs which were raised such that my wrists were bent back to type – this may have been one factor that led to me getting CTS years later! Another problem is that modern laptops tend to be badly designed IMHO (see the above post for my thoughts about modern hot laptops) so it wouldn’t be comfortable to have a modern laptop actually on your lap.

    No one: Thanks for that reference, that seems quite good.