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I just got back to model building after a 3-month hiatus due to illness.  But I have noticed that sitting at the bench for more than an hour gives me pain in my back I had not noticed before, limiting the time I can work without a break.

Does anyone have any techniques/tips for this problem?

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I reconfigured my bench so that I can either sit or stand. Lighting at two heights, magnification at two heights and vise/clamping at two heights. I probably stand more than I sit. Don't have a back problem, just thought it might be a healthier way to go.

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Welcome back George. 

Where's pain, upper or lower? 

I like Charlie's idea of a sit/stand bench. 

I have major back issue too (fractured L5, last vertebrae)  I tried a kneeling chair, that helped a ton. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Aside from the sit / stand desk (which I've had at work and can endorse!) what type of chair are you using?   

If you are using an old kitchen chair,  a folding chair or even an office chair you bought for $100 at Staples, that could be your issue.

As an office ergonomist  I recommend a name brand professional office chair.  Yes, those sell for $600-1200 new, but can be bought for cheap at garage sales and used furniture / used office furniture stores.  Brands like  Steelcase, Herman Miller,  Haworth.  I'd rather spend $200 on a used one of these than $100 on a brand new Staples chair!   And you want a chair with arms on it.

Image result for office ergonomic posture

Also make sure that you are sitting in a proper position.  Chair facing the bench straight and adjusted for comfort. Feet on the floor in front of you under the bench. Bench at proper desk height.  All of this is part of the equation! 

Edited by Tom Geiger

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Thanks for the tips!  Tom's diagram reminded me of when I was working at a computer all day.  He's right: feet flat on the floor, arms at 90 and adjust everything else to fit.

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Posted (edited)

How long you can sit at the bench comfortably has a good deal to do with your general level of fitness...at least in my experience.

Over the past few years, I've had a few injuries and health issues that have left me pretty well incapacitated for months at a time on occasion. I gained a lot of weight. I lost muscle mass and stamina. My sleep suffered, and working on anything was a painful ordeal. My back and legs would cramp. Life sucked.

Getting back in reasonable shape isn't easy, it's harder the older you get, it usually hurts to do it (which is why most people quit), and boy oh boy, there is NOTHING that makes you feel better about life than finally feeling GOOD physically and being able to DO things again.

There are lots of older folks who seem to be content to live exertion-free lives, eat way too much, and to expand into passable Jabba the Hutt lookalikes.

Maybe if you have a real permanent debilitating injury or condition so you just can't exercise at all, that's an option...but it's still not a wise one.

If you can, I highly recommend at least 20 minutes every other day of moderate exercise, bare minimum.

I don't mean shuffling around at the mall. I mean brisk walking, as fast as you can go.

Work up to 20 minutes every day, then 30, then an hour. Find inclines to walk up.

If you've allowed yourself to get pretty far out of shape, I guarantee that after a few months of the above, you'll feel 20 years younger.

 

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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I must agree with Ace.  Over the years I have packed on a few more pounds than I am comfortable carrying around.  I finally made the decision to do something about it so I joined the local YMCA and began an exercise program.  I had not been at it long enough to notice any great weight loss, but I did notice better flexibility, stamina, and a general feel-good about myself.  A couple months ago I had to have vertebra-fusion surgery on my neck, which has brought my training to a screeching halt.  I now feel tight all over and uncomfortable in most of what I am doing.  Yesterday I did go back to the Y and began a walking regimen with the intent of eventually returning to my other program.  A few words to the wise - just because you get older does not mean you have to stop caring for yourself.

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I totally agree with the exercise routine, I have had multiple health issues and exercising has kept them very managable, I work usually 6 days a week and try and exercise 7 days a week, no matter how tired I am I try and do something,  a stationary bike, light weights or a heavy bag workout. It makes a world of a difference!!!!! The only thing I would also highly recommend is stretching multiple times a day, stretch your back and hamstrings. It really helps!!

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back issues here too, I usually try and get up at least on the hour, stretch & walk around 1-2 minutes - works wonders

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Ive found a good chair is paramount. 

And i will stand from time to time as well.

 

Also. Ive found. Get up once in a while and walk around or stretch .

It helps wonders

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If it's lower back pain - stand straight, put back against bench/counter, hands on edge of bench/counter, lean back for 3 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

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I also have a smaller, portable work surface. I've taken a board with a finished surface to use as a work surface and clamped that board into a Dremel clamping table. The clamping table then get clamped into a B&D Workmate. Perfect height for me to stand at.

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3 hours ago, gtx6970 said:

  I've found a good chair is paramount. 

And i will stand from time to time as well.

  Also. Ive found. Get up once in a while and walk around or stretch .

It helps wonders

 

     Bill is oh so right on this!!  I have a table that works, and I

also have a bench that I can stand or sit at in my hobby

room. I can hardly explain how much that helps me!!

       David S.

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