Tying Fies and back pain

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Chef, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
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    Rob and Plec: How tall are your desks?
  2. Preston Active Member

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    A.K. Best pointed out years ago that the ideal tying position was to allow the upper arm to hang almost vertically from the shoulder with the forearms at close to ninety degrees. After many years of suffering pain between the shoulder blades after a lengthy period of tying, I got the message.

    A few years ago I started tying on a high workbench in my back room and, after trying several bar stools of varying heights I found the most comfortable option was to tie standing up and, after I got used to it, found I enjoyed it. One of the worst scenarios I've encountered has been tying at fly fishing shows where the chair-seat-to-table-height distance may be fine for eating but totally unsuitable for tying and the tier is stuck there tying for hours at a time. My (inadequate) solution has been to put a couple of cushions on the seat and to use a short shaft on my vise.

    By the way, the Oregon Council FFF Fly Tiers Expo is on, in Albany, this Friday and Saturday; hope to see some of you there.
  3. Philster New Member

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    Yup. I don't try to convince the standing crowd, but it's all about leverage. And if not letting the upper arms exert leverage, how much less weight is being carried by your torso if your forearms are supported as Jay Murakoshi taught me? Simple test: Hold your arms up in a boxer's defensive position while sitting. Now let them dangle and let your forearms rest in your lap. It doesn't take tiger's blood and adonis DNA to figure it out.
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  4. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,569
    Langley, WA
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    Chef,
    Your Nor-Vise is heigth adjustable? One thing to try is to raise the vise up to reduce the temptation to lean your head forward and stoop over the vise.

    The idea of having the vise low and your arms and shoulders in a neutral position is good, but this places the fly a long way from your eyes. It may work if you have a magnifyer that can compensate for this distance.

    With the vise in a higher position you will have to rely on short breaks to relax your shoulders if they begin to tighten. This, or support your elbows on the desk or chair arms.

    Whatever you do, figure this out. You'll be tying for the next 60 years!
  5. Loren Jensen Active Member

    Posts: 1,013
    Sedro-Woolley, Washington
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  6. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
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    Thanks jeff. I will try raising the nor vice. Its not adjustable with height but I can still move it up. I will try it before hacking the hell out of my desk and building a standing desk.

    Loren: please stay on topic! jeeze.. kids today! :)
  7. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Chef,
    Most standing desks should be elbow height with your arms down so your arms can rest at a 90 deg angle. Its really your preference though. I use the elbow height rule for computer desks. For a fly tying desk figure out how tall you like the vice to be when you are sitting and design accordingly to your standing height.

    I'm seeing more and more people at work using standing desks, especially those with back issues. I've seen & tried many other configurations (exercise ball, ergonomic chairs, etc..) but standing is by far the best option that I have seen.