The cookbook author pictured below tried to create her own ergonomic hack by placing a piece of foam on her desk after excruciating wrist pain prevented her from writing.
However, she missed the main problem which was incorrect positioning of her laptop and lack of an external keyboard. Her forearms and wrists remained suspended in mid-air. Her raised shoulders were still doing too much of the work.
When continuing pain prevented her from working she realized it was time for a professional ergonomics consultation.
The improvement you come up with on your own might be the first step but not the last to working comfortably and safely.
Before – Using a Laptop With No External Keyboard:
Her laptop is too far below eye level and the makeshift riser doesn’t raise it enough. Her neck has to bend forward to see the screen and her upper back and shoulders are collapsing. Because she is reaching up to type on the keyboard of her laptop, her forearms are not getting the intended benefit from the foam.
After – Incorporating an Ergonomic Keyboard:
Look what happens when she raises her screen to the correct height and adds an external ergonomic keyboard!
Her neck is no longer bent forward and her upper back and chest are open. An ergonomic keyboard which splits into two separate halves allows her to place her arms in front of her shoulders. Her wrists and shoulders don’t have to strain. She can now use the desk, with or without foam, for forearm and wrist support.
An ergonomic mouse (not shown) keeps her right hand in the vertical handshake position, reducing wrist strain even further. See what she has to say about the improvement and remember: A laptop on a riser necessitates the use of an external ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
A do-it-yourself hack can give you a lot of information. But the improvement you come up with on your own might be the first step, rather than the last, to working comfortably and safely.