[CQ-Contest] Love my operating chair
Pete Smith N4ZR
n4zr at contesting.com
Thu Mar 14 09:54:05 EDT 2013
This sounds like very much the problem I have - if you look at an
anatomy book, to a layman those muscles appear to run from the upper
spine out and down to various attachment points. My physical therapist
says these muscles are subject to referred pain from pressure on nerves
coming out of the spine between vertebrae in that area.
I really believe posture is the key. Early on, I spent close to $1000
on a chair after trying a dozen of them at a Healthy Back store. I
chose it for lumbar support, but it still wasn't enough, hence the
add-on pad. Now my only problem is inadequate depth in the seat bottom,
because I have pretty long legs.
73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at
blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
For spots, please go to your favorite
ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.
On 3/13/2013 4:20 PM, Michael Clarson wrote:
> Steve: I have no issues in SSB and CW contests, but in RTTY contests, I
> spend a lot more time looking at the monitor. After a while, neck pain/sore
> neck. Turns out monitor required me to look up slightly (not much) and that
> does it. Lowering the monitor about 4 inches fixed the problem. --Mike,
> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM, Steve London <n2icarrl at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Interesting thread.
>> I have a strange contesting pain issue for which I have not yet found a
>> I believe that I do not move my neck enough. I tend to focus
>> straight-ahead on the monitor, and not much else. After a 48 hour contest,
>> the back of the neck is incredibly sore when I move it, and the pain can
>> continue for up to a week after the contest. The pain feels like it is in
>> the skin, rather than deep in the vertebrae. My table is lower than the
>> standard height, and my monitor is as low as I can place it, so that I do
>> not have lift my head upward. I tend to sit upright, not using the back of
>> the chair. (My XYL says I look like a turtle, and my cat frequently
>> provides lumbar support !). Other than this, I have no contest-related pain.
>> Suggestions ?
>> Steve, N2IC
>> On 03/13/2013 08:39 AM, Charles Harpole wrote:
>>> 20 yrs ago, after I totalled up all I had invested in gear, I decided to
>>> invest in myself. I purchased a Steelcase brand full posture desk chair.
>>> Shoulder hi back, adjustable tilt fore and aft, adjustable up and down,
>>> adjustable hardness of the front seat edge, short arms (away from front of
>>> desk), and a lumbar cushioning rear back. Five swivel wheels.
>>> I could have bought a good antenna tuner or a Ham-M but this was the best
>>> ham item I own. It allows my thighs to be horiz, my feet flat on the
>>> floor, or raised on a small stool, and back adjust. too.
>>> Also, I cut the legs for my operating table to TYPING HEIGHT, not desk
>>> height (research on Internet), and put extra feet under the front legs of
>>> my radios to angle them upward. My logging monitor is at eye line height
>>> and above the radios. My keyboard is the shorty kind with no number or
>>> arrow keys on the right side, leaves another 6 inches of desk space. I
>>> would have liked to put the keyboard in a pull out drawer just under the
>>> table, but needed a twoXfour across there to hold the weight of the gear.
>>> My transceiver is at typing table height, with the main knob in line with
>>> my right shoulder. Being right handed to run the kbrd and Morse paddle
>>> (paddle is to right of rig), my rotor controls are to the left of the
>>> monitor. I like the HyGain single button 6 pre-sets rotor control model
>>> DCU-1 (note the DCU-2 is not as good but newer).*
>>> Left and right speakers are separated by 5 ft. and at ear height.
>>> tunable amps are on the upper right (right handed) and auto-tune thing is
>>> on upper left.
>>> VOX on ssb with Heil 4 element and headset. (if you dont like VOX, you
>>> dont have a FT-9000 line of radio... smooth). Lemon juice drinks, no
>>> coffee, finger food delivered to desk. Empty gallon jug on floor under
>>> Ant selector is remote sw box slaved to rig. Computer gets exact rig freq
>>> to N1MM log. And, that is my only automation.
>>> The posture chair, however, is the most important contest accessory I
>>> 73, Charly K4VUD
>>> *Sadly and strangely, there is no other true and full PRE-SET rotor
>>> available. The best the non-DCU-1 controllers can do is to turn the
>>> rotable knob to the desired bearing and push go. The latter style means
>>> you must look carefully at the bearing knob for much longer time than
>>> pushing a pre-set button. Yaesu, listen up !!!
>>> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 2:44 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR<n4zr at contesting.com>**
>>> Many of us will recognize Contester's Crouch - sitting in front of a
>>>> or a computer screen, head forward, shoulders hunched, ready to pounce.
>>>> It's instinctive, maybe, but not very healthy.
>>>> For the last dozen years or so, I've had a buildup of calcium on my neck
>>>> vertebrae, pressing on nerves going down to my right arm. When I sit
>>>> for a
>>>> long time - as in contests - it can be really painful. After making lots
>>>> of compensatory changes in the ergonomics of my station over the years,
>>>> this fall was disappointingly familiar, but with a new addition - strong
>>>> referred pain in the muscles just inside my shoulder-blade on that side.
>>>> So it was back to the physical therapist again, for more traction and
>>>> electro-stimulation, but this time he suggested I try something else - a
>>>> large lumbar cushion placed vertically in the lower back of my desk
>>>> Because my weight would carried on the cushion rather than where my
>>>> back rests against the chair, the effect would be to push my lower back
>>>> forward, and shift my shoulders back. I had been using a small one for
>>>> driving, to help relieve some sciatica, so I figured, why not try it?
>>>> In my case, benefit was immediate and dramatic. Where an hour or two in
>>>> the chair would produce strong pain, now I can sit for hours with no pain
>>>> at all. I'm not about to go 44 out of 48 hours like K0DQ and others who
>>>> totally defy aging, but this way I can have all the fun I want out of
>>>> contesting, pain-free.
>>>> The particular cushion I use is by Tempur-Pedic, and is close to 3 inches
>>>> thick. No particular brand preference here, except that the temperature
>>>> sensitive foam adjusts nicely to spread the pressure across my back.
>>>> And of course, I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. YMMV, etc.
>>>> 73, Pete N4ZR
>>>> Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at
>>>> blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
>>>> For spots, please go to your favorite
>>>> ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.
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