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One of the Cardinal rules of any long term sitting is to be relaxed
and able to relax your arms and lumbar area. I bought myself a
$350.00 secretarial chair just for the support it gives my legs and
other “vital areas” of my body…;>) When you are pushing beads and
other heavy duty claws, you are also pushing against the bench peg
and extending that action through to your lumbar area of your back
to the chair. The well supported chair must take up this
"action-reaction". To tell you a true story, some time ago a
non-jewellery person was moving my lumbar area of my chair from my
back just at the time I was needing that support while doing some
bead work. The back area was totally absent. I insisted she stop
"playing games", the result was I had to verbally refrain myself
and stop my work till she understood what I was needing the chair
for. As an arm rest, hold your arms at a height that should feel
comfortable and always give a moments rest to your hands. They too
get tired. The height of the chair is so important, you must not
have to “bend over” and give your neck more stress than it has
already. If your chin is touching your upper chest, your chair is
too high, really! For your hand/arm that holds the ring Clamp, have
a series or layers of cloth/foam to protect your nerves in your
elbow. If you think that this is not necessary after a few years you
will have total nerve damage in that elbow. Your feet should also be
able to move around under your bench for exercise. This is too
prevent pooling of the blood. When you are doing “bead work” try and
have a support for that arm. It should be at a level that your upper
arm is horizontal and no effort is in keeping it raised. If there is
any more effort, you will get tired and who needs this?

Gerry, the Cyber-Setter

What an important lesson you gave in your letter. During my
appreticeship my mentor would slap my back and make me sit upright
and to hold my tools correctly. In my years on the job I have
seen so many new jewelers who feel it is ok to sit in any position.
One of the most common mistake I see is when the person feels
the need to sit side saddle with their legs off to the left or the
right. Often these are people who have taken jewelry courses that
have taught them technique and design but missed teaching the basic
bench fundamentals. Like an athlete, a jewelers  body
position is crucial to peak performance, not to mention long term
health. A jewelers shoulders and hips should remain squared off to
the bench in order to remain efficient and reduce fatigue.

John Sholl
Littleton, Colorado