Workspace Ergonomics

What’s working for you? What isn’t? What would you like to try next?

From traditional desk & chair to monitor+keyboard mounted on a treadmill, there are lots of options nowadays. Show and tell time!

Me, I have been traditional my entire life: computer desk, keyboard tray, office chair. The latter I upgraded to a Herman Miller Mirra about 15 years ago due to ongoing back & neck issues. It wasn’t perfect but it helped.

Alas, even a Herman Miller wears out. Mine was splitting up the back, all the plastic broken with just a quarter inch left at the top before it would come apart. I used velcro ties to hold it together until I could get a replacement.

Last week I came across a lightning deal on one of those cheap knock-off kneeling chairs so I went for it. Then I did my research (I know, backwards) and ended up canceling and buying the original Varier Variable Balans.

Expensive suckers! Why, the price is almost as much as I paid for the Herman Miller at a liquidation outlet… okay, I’ve paid more and didn’t regret. As a bonus, I found one used/like new at half price so the pain is less. It doesn’t arrive till Friday and I’ll write more after I use it a while.

I was tempted by sit/standup options like these wobble chairs…

… but my desk setup is in a tight area and I’d hit my head on the overhead cabinet half the time (or have to scrunch, defeating the idea). Still, I’ll keep it in mind in case my living conditions change and a standing desk becomes a possibility.


Now that I’m working from home hopefully permanently, I’ve invested in a few things to make my workspace better, and have a couple more things I’ll eventually want.

I have one of those automatic sit/standing desks that I got from Costco. It’s much smaller than my last desk, but so far I like the variety of changing positions. I usually switch up every hour or so.

I also have a Kinesis RGB Edge split keyboard, which takes up a lot of space on my desk, along with my 27"? monitor with my MBP on a laptop stand as second screen take up the rest of the space.

I have 2 things left on my workspace wishlist. I want a balance board of some sort for when I’m standing, and I would like a nicer office chair. My current one is several years old and pretty basic. I can’t really decide on the style I want though. I don’t usually like arms on my chairs, but I’m considering it since I’m standing half the time anyway.

1 Like

My workspace keeps changing.

But I keep my Dell Canvas around for reviewing documents, so it kind of feels like I can spread out 3 sheets of paper that I’m editing on top of a desk.

Herman Miller chairs are fantastic. But I wound up buying a mesh chair from Staples on sale for $100.

I’ve set up speakers along with a tube amp to play hi-fi musical bliss when I’m doing CAD/modeling work.

Lately, my favorite hack is to keep a golf club (9-iron) and putter nearby, so I can periodically do something athletic instead of sitting around for hours. I especially do a bunch of swing practice during “all hands” meetings where I merely have to listen.

There are times I miss the social atmosphere of an office, but I wouldn’t trade the ability to set up your home office into an inspiring fun activity area.

1 Like

I’m currently using a knock-off Balans chair on wheels at my desk in the den in the basement where I have my desk — it gets used 3 days a week for working remotely — I should use it for personal work at other times, but not wild about being stuck in the basement that much. I’d definitely like to get one of the originals.

Usually I work in a chair in the living room w/ a tablet on the arm of the chair, or in my lap, or on a cedar chest which doubles as a coffee table, or on a Levenger lap desk, or kneeling on the floor w/ the tablet on the cedar chest.


I have a sit/stand desk, I have also invested in a Steelcase Gesture (Stool version) for my work from home setup. I have my monitor at the right level to reduce strain.


NaNoWriMo 2022 taught me the shortcomings of my Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard so I did research and eventually decided on Kinesis’ new Advantage 360 Pro keyboard:

This will take some getting used to. :vb-embarassed-laugh:


I love my Kinesis keyboard. It didn’t take as long to get used to as I thought it would, but the 360 looks like it takes it to the next level.

1 Like

Currently the most difficult thing is getting my muscle memory to agree that Backspace is directly under my left thumb now, not a right pinky extension to the far top-right of the keyboard. :vb-headbang:

1 Like

I use a rocking knee chair. People said it’s painful on the knee but i found it surprisingly comfy and distributed weight between the knee and the backside nicely. Used the one with back support to lean back once in a while, which I think is important to keep myself stable and prevent me from slouching when tired. It’s the only chair that doesn’t disagree with my back after a 10 hours sitting at work/commute.


Looks like you have a good one. The people who complain usually have a cheap knockoff that shifts too much weight to the knees, or they’re sitting incorrectly. The term “kneeling chair” is a misnomer. You don’t kneel, you sit on your backside and your shins give support/balance via the pads. You shouldn’t have more than 15% or 20% of your weight on them IIRC and they should be against your shins, never touching the knees. The cheapies on Amazon are badly designed (though people can adapt to anything and some are happy with them; to each their own; whatever works is fine). Being able to slightly, often unconsciously rock forward and back helps and the better ones allow left and right rocking & twisting as well via the wood flexing (I saw one review wherein the buyer returned a chair like mine because it wasn’t sturdy enough; “cheaply made”—because it was flexing side to side as intended). The better ones also allow various other non-“kneeling” positions to mix it up.

That said, mine was a torture device the first month or so due to how messed up my back and posture was (and my age). I can now go 8 or more hours without difficulty, however. Taking breaks is crucial and fortunately my watch reminds me to stand for at least a minute every hour.

1 Like

Kinesis Corp put their own SmartSet configuration software on the wired version of the Advantage 360. I got the wireless Pro version, however, and both the company and various reviewers warn to the effect that it’s not for those who can’t channel their inner nerd.

It uses the ZMK open source keyboard customization software found on GitHub and you need to create your own repository, fork a branch from Kinesis version, do your changes—thankfully there’s a visual web assistant for the most common things—commit and let it compile, move the resulting zip file to your computer, unzip, then connect the left keyboard via USB and have it produce a virtual drive by using a paperclip or similar precision instrument pressed twice into a tiny access hole beside a thumb key. Copy/paste the configuration file from the zip that’s marked left into the virtual drive. It installs quickly (assuming no errors) and the virtual drive closes itself. Done. Repeat for the right keyboard half with the file marked right.

Whew, easy peasy. Not!

The GitHub experience

Anyway, it’s not as scary as it sounds; just take it step by step and soon enough it’s done. I did a simple key assignment change on the base layer, from QWERTY to standard Dvorak. It’s working perfectly. To get used to the 360Pro I’m “relearning” dvorak at:

After repeating the first lessons a couple times my pinky rarely tries to reach a backspace key at the top-right that no longer exists. I think I’ll be good to go after an easygoing week of remapping my muscle memory.

1 Like

We had plywood variant but they looked cheaply made, and our weather is too hot and humid for plywood chair.

Mine has steel legs, they are stable and I find rocking back and forth is enough’s for me. I really liked the back rest as it both prevent you from rocking back too far and keep your posture when you are tired. The one without backrest would probably be torturous for me as I would be slouching in no time. This chair was 75$ which is pretty affordable ( but it’s easy to buy cheaply from China here). I would have bought another to use at the office if the work place allowed it.

1 Like

That rig looks tempting…

I guess this thing can go here…

$1000, ETA June.

1 Like

So, if it takes 2 hours to charge a device plugged into a wall, wonder how long one has to pedal?

Imagining a pedal turn to watt hour ratio …

Maybe Peloton should label this.

1 Like

My first thought when I saw this was that it was a missed opportunity for them.

This came across my FB feed this morning, and I find it tempting for the exercise aspect (the old spinning bike my wife brought home is noisy, and I find it ridiculous that resistance is implemented using a brake shoe, rather than gearing).

I’ve actually looked into setting up a stand for my bike which allows it to be used as a generator — this would nicely sidestep this, esp. if it’s small/portable enough to be moved into a closet.


I frankly would love to have that Bike pedel desk at my office. Prefect for those afternoons when you not only struggle to stay awake at work in-office, but when you kill your diet at lunch and feel guilty.
I could totally see myself peddling on that thing at 3pm-5pm.


Last year, before we moved to these forums, I asked for help getting a more ergonomic setup. That was a really helpful conversation. I was suffering from a lot of headaches at the time, and part of the cause was my desk and painting set up (I’m a professional watercolor artist as well as a landscape designer). I got myself a good second hand standing desk and Steel Chair, and this last December I got a 27" Innocn monitor.

The setup is great. The monitor is also great too, because it rotates and has a sensor to autorotate. As you can see in the photos, this is great for when I’m painting and want more detail in my reference photo.

All in all, a really good setup for about 1200$, standing desk, chair, and monitor included. Love it. Thanks folks!


Now as far as my own work place ergonomics, I guess I’m always looking for news ways to pimp out my cubical’s monitors. (since in-office is slowly gonna become more and more the norm)

A co-worker the other day flat out told me my monitor setup was bordering on becoming obnoxious…So naturally I only feel it’s appropriate to take it a step further now.

Surface Laptop Studio connected to both the Surface Dock 2 and a second triple monitor dock connected to one of the USB-C ports
Four 23 inch 1080p HP monitors
One 34-inch UltraWide 4K

That still leaves a full open thunderbolt/usb-c port. which I’m using in the pic to run my Tab S8 Plus in Super Display.