Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Selecting an Orthopedically Correct Bench Chair

Dear Orchid list members,

I am in the process of selecting a Bench Chair. This letter should be
self explanitory.

But - I need input from others in the newsgroup. I can tell you all
that " Pain does not build Character " I would like a chair which will
allow me to work , un distracted by chronic back pain, to the fullest
potential which I have. I will keep a file on selection of a "
Orthopedically and Ergonomicly Correct Bench Chair "

I would like to open more discussion on the subject of Ergonomics in
the Jewelery and Lapidary, Arts and Crafts Contributions will be edited
to protect the privacy of all contributors ( unless asked otherwise )
. Sugestions on how best to do this will be very welcome.

I have designed and built some devices in the past, as a Millwright /
Maintaince Mechanic, but without any formal training in the field of
Ergonomics. My decisions were directed by requests from other
workers and aproved by Production Supervision as well as our
Engineering Department . I am pleased to say that my efforts were
generaly well recieved < grin >.

Please send all contributions to either the list, or if editing for
privacy is desired, to me at - @rlpowell In 4 or 5 weeks,
my email and physical mail address will be changing. I am going back
to school < BIG GRIN >.

I will be continuing this as a personal project and as a way of
contributing to the Orchid List, as the Orchid List has contributed
to me.

told at the councilors office ( Paris College of Jewelry > Technology
) that an orthopedically correct chair would be provided to > be used
in the class room. > But, I would need to have a statment from my
doctor as to the need for > such a device . > My Doctor said , No
Problem, but that a discription ( and a brand name > preferably )
would would be needed before > he could make a recomendation. So,
here is what I need.

    Support to help chronically pinched nerves in back causing some
loss of sensation in my left hand, T 8 - T 9  Broken with some
residual loss of controll and sensation ( 20 - 30 % ) L 3 - L 4 - L 5
disks removed with cronic pain and loss of control, Right knee
shattered with some residual impairment . 
    I am going to be working in a classroom at a work bench (
Jewelers Bench ) for 8 hrs a Day, 4 Days a Week , for a Total of 2
Years .  I intend to work part time in a Shop, or part time Self

EDITED Contributions and Sugestions

       " Sitting at bench is the hardest part... get up and move as
much as possible, and use of GOOD chair with pneumatic adjustments
is essential. If you have upper back problems, you will benefit from
ergonomic articulating arm supports. They are fantastic, and permit
you to work with ease, by taking the strain off your arms as you
work at the pin  in wax carving, soldering, filing, sawing, and
general work. " 
  " Have your chair arms adapted for use with ergonomic arm
supports.  I have them on my chair, and others built into my metal
and wax benches.   The ergonimic arms are about $250 a pair.  Be
sure you don't have to pay for them yourself. " 
    Is there anything else You can think to add ? I need a
description or a name brand. Ask Rehab specialists , or whoever You
can think of . I am going to ask others to check out things to
review on the internet and other sources. 

I would like to Thank all the list members who have contributed and
assure all other members, who might wish to contribute, that their
contributions will be edited to protect all identifyable personal

Thank You all so Very Much for all You have Shared

Robert L.Powell - ROBB - Retrainable Old Baby Boomer

Robert P. asked about an ergo-sensitive seating device.

I’m reminded of a study released just last week. It was determined
that employees reported back injuries more frequently whenever they
were dissatisfied with their job.

There are some good seating devices out there and some cost several
thousand dollars. I am not aware of any that are constructed to a
specific injury as Robert described. I’m sure someone will construct
one if the money is there, sort of like a prosthetic device.

I am no expert, but would venture to state that if you followed a few
rules, you could obtain a chair at a reasonable price that will
function as well as a $3,000.00 “ergo” chair. There needs to be five
casters (actually, the ‘rollers’ isn’t as important as the five
’legs’ that split outward from the main post.) This simply helps
prevent the chair from dumping you when you least expect it.

Adjustments…1) the back of the chair needs to, adjustments forward
and backward, lumbar support and hopefully, up and down. 2) Arms,
primarily up and down and then to move away from the seat, or inward
toward the seat. 3) The seat needs to be able to be raised and
lowered and tilted forward and back.

Don’t stay in one position (i.e.; seated, standing, walking, etc) too
long. Mix it up, take frequent breaks and make yourself take a few
steps often. This also means that while you’re seated, change your
seating position occasionally, just like when you’re driving,
especially on a long-haul.

Refrain from placing pressure (while seated, standing, performing
chores and tasks) on parts of your body, especially at the wrist, knee
(and yes, the old gluteus max.)

Back to my original sentence about persons being dissatisfied with
their job. There is a lot to this and it just ain’t Alpha waves. I’m
positive that anyone going through the “trouble” Robert is going
through to set up a bench, is going to become extremely attached to
the work that the person will be doing, so that in itself will
relieve a lot of discomfort…just don’t forget to get up and do a
little stretch and walk occasionally.

Hope this has been of some benefit Robert.


Another technique that is simple is to keep a brick under your desk.
Seriously! This was recommended by my physical therapist when I was
having some back problems. The brick is to rest one foot upon. From
time to time, swap the foot being proped up. From time to time, turn
the brick on edge, and do the same. This really did help a lot for me, and is cheap!