Ergo Going Public?

Meeting in the cafe

Have you walked into a cafe lately?  Any cafe will do.  And if you have, you’ll agree that each cafe these days looks like a set for an Apple commercial.  Most tables are filled with folks hunched over their laptops, phones and iPads, and sometimes all three.  Everyone is plugged in. And plugged in for hours.

I for one, love this scene since I use cafes as a second office since we have a virtual company.  We have never had a traditional office since we are a group of passionate wellness nomads!  We either are onsite helping folks or back at our home offices creating content to spread the wellness word via the cyber world.  And that means that we (the staff of PBE) know only too well the joys and challenges of working at home, on the road and what it means to camp out and work in a cafe.

What I’m particularly struck by is the willingness to sit crouched and hunched for so long.  At first it can seem cool and laid back to ignore all of the traditional wisdom of sitting up straight, but I don’t know about you, but after a while, I really feel the tension in my neck and shoulders.  If I sit there long enough, my back will start to whine and complain too!   I still long for the clever cafe owner who boasts an ergo-friendly atmosphere with adjustable chairs or tables.  But alas, until that day comes, we have to take matters into our own hands.

So that’s exactly what I did and boy has it made a difference!  I bought three simple things:

  1. A lap desk
  2. A kick stand laptop riser
  3. An external keyboard & mouse

Laptop_StandAnd I use these things in any number of ways.  I have never been in a cafe where the tables were at a comfortable typing height.  They are always too high.  So I tend to either sit on a sofa or against the back of the chair and put my laptop on my lap desk and type away.  The only thing I have to do is tip my screen back a bit further than normal for easy viewing.

Other times, I put the laptop on the table.  If my monitor needs to be higher then I prop it up on the kickstand that I have tucked away in my roller bag and voila – my back, eyes and neck are grateful!  Then I whip out my keyboard and mouse, place it on my lap desk and voila!  Not only can I work comfortably, but eventually, people start asking me where to get these accessories after complaining that their backs and necks are crying out.

So, if you are a cafe dweller like I am, or find yourself working in public places, take matters into your own hands and take your ergo public!  Trust me, you will be 100 times more productive and won’t go home stiff and sore!

Please let me know in the comments how you work in a cafe or other public place.  Do you slouch? Use any gadgets to prop you or your gizmos up?  Do tell!

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 10.49.22 AMUntil the next time, be happy, energized and productive!

Vivienne Fleischer-Miller, PBE Co-Founder

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