My Macbook Desk


by Joe Wallace

When I was much more active as a music journalist, I interviewed Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos about carpal tunnel syndrome issues for musicians. Carlos has never had a day’s problem with carpal tunnel, which shocked me since he’s been drumming since the 60s.

“What’s your secret?” I asked, and the reply was so simple I didn’t believe it at first–I kept waiting for him to add something to his reply. But at least in his case, the secret is simply to change up the height and arrangement of the drum kit often to avoid using the same muscles over and over again over an extended period of time.

How does this apply to freelancers?

I don’t work at the same desk with my Macbook for very long. At least three times a day I switch to another room, a different height surface and a different angle. I use the couch, the kitchen, my home office, the local coffee shop, all of them with different ways to sit and type. It’s something that has served me well…if you’re experiencing pain from too many hours of typing and mousing (is that actually a word?) consider the Bun E. Carlos trick…it could save your muscles a lot of future aches.

One thought on “My Macbook Desk”

  1. Joe, this is important stuff for people to consider when spending so much time at the computer. Moving around is key.

    As a person with a chronic neck problem, I personally disagree with the OSHA standards on monitor position. I have my iMac elevated high enough that the top of the screen is a couple inches higher than my head–in other words, boosted up pretty high so I’m looking level or even a bit up at the screen.

    It’s a strategy that I developed out of desperation when I had a Macbook as my primary computer. I found that looking even slightly down just put way too much stress on my neck. Eventually, I put it up on a stack of books, plugged in one of those Adesso keyboards with the built-in trackpad, and the pain was gone.

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