Tying Fies and back pain

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

  1. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    Sitting down is not good for your back. I would seriously look into getting a standing desk. I've converted all my desks to standing height (including my desk at work) and it helps out tremendously. Some of the architect style desks are build at standing height stock and won't require modification. Except my float tube, I've even set up my boats to stand in while fishing.
     
  2. Loren Jensen

    Loren Jensen Active Member

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    I remember when I had my retail job how crappy it was not to have a place to sit. After a while, I could stand for the longest time with little fatigue.
     
  3. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

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    I agree. I have a counter height desk with a stool on wheels. I will alternate between standing and sitting, and the only thing I have to do is stand a slide the stool out of the way.
     
  4. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    Chef - What part of your back hurts? Low, middle or upper?
    Some tips to consider:

    Placing the vise low so your arms and shoulders are in a neutral position is good, but can encourage stooping over your vise if you do not have proper magnification.
    Changing posture is always good for circulation - short standing/stretching breaks is best
    Proper chair size is important. Lumber curve in right spot, seat pan depth adequate (not touching the back of the knee) and hips/butt slightly higher thatn the knee for proper chair heigth

    I use viser magnifier and the focus range is around 8 inches. I often bring my vise up to chin level and tie at that heigth. The Nor-Vise and auto bobbin allow the tyer to keep his hands/arms in a more neutral position, as you rarely have to wrap materials around the shank.

    Take care Isaak!
    Jeff
     
  5. Chef

    Chef New Member

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    Jeff:

    It is my upper back. I will need to change some things around. Perhaps starting with vise height and then play around with the chair thing. Perhaps standing might be to the best bet. Just gotta do some big modifications for that since I now use a roll top desk. I would like to keep the roll top of the desk if posssible becasue my of cats. So I was thinking of making a table thats high enough and then cutting the roll top off on the sides so I can put the roll top section on top of the taller desk. I know it might sound weird but I love the feature of the roll top desk.
     
  6. Chef

    Chef New Member

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    Rob and Plec: How tall are your desks?
     
  7. Preston

    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.
     
  8. Philster

    Philster Active 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.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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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!
     
  10. Loren Jensen

    Loren Jensen Active Member

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  11. Chef

    Chef New Member

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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! :)
     
  12. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    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.