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Working with your PC from bed is finally possible thanks to the incredible structure created by this man

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Working with your PC from bed is finally possible thanks to the incredible structure created by this man

As much as you love your job, how active you are or how hard it is for you to get out of bed, it is very likely that some Monday morning, with your eyes still cloudy, you have asked yourself the same question. that not long ago Stephen Hewitt raised.

— Could you work from bed

This same article, for example, could I write comfortably lying on my mattress

However, between him and most mortals there is an important difference. You and I and the vast majority of mortals would answer that question with a resigned sigh and give ourselves a few minutes to clear our heads before kicking our feet off the bed. Hewitt took a pencil and paper and began to look for the best way to play with a computer in a horizontal position.

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Not only that. With the design more or less defined, he went a little further: he took a PC, some planks, nails and rails and prototyped the system from it. Homemade. The result, curious of course, has been shared through the Cambridge Clarion website, which includes photos and a schematic plan with your solution. The document details each and every one of the measures.

It is well tested. Its creator, he explains, has tested it for over a hundred hours.

Objective: work lying down

The system described by Hewitt is made up of a chassis for the keyboard, the screen and the mouse, three pieces that manage to fit together in such a way that they can be easily manipulated while lying in bed.

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The first, the keyboard, is kept in a vertical position with the help of a support anchored to a structure parallel to the bed base. It seems like a simple solution, and it is; but that does not mean that it responds to a reflexive logic and a trial-error process. Hewit explains how the keyboard is the correct height so that your arms can rest on the mattress and reach all the keys comfortably. As the user is just below, another key is that it does not get in the way.

“With this arrangement, the weight of the arms is supported by the elbows resting on the mattress. This is important because having to raise your arms to write is uncomfortable and doesn’t seem feasible for more than a minute or two.” comments Hewitt. The fact that there are no obstacles on the sides also makes it easy to get out and lie down without discomfort. “Often there is something I need, like the phone or a document, or some non-work-related reason that requires me to get up.”

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The solution for the screen is completely the opposite. If the keyboard is fixed vertically to the mattress, the monitor is “nearly horizontal” so that the user can see it with their head resting on the pillow. The degree of alignment with the worker’s view is something that can be regulated with the help of one meter long rails. “I can easily reach and slide to the headboard or footboard while I work,” share the author of the project.

“It is not very frequent, but there have been days that with this arrangement my neck and back have hurt. The remedy is to adjust the pillow so my head tilts forward more,” Hewit shares of his personal experience. If at any given moment the user gets tired of lying down looking at the ceiling, the solution is as simple as unhooking the screen and moving it to the desk. The prototype is designed for easy maneuvering.

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“The monitor can be removed and put back on a desk. I bought a video extension cable and a network cable and occasionally lifted the monitor off the rails and put it back on the nearby desk and continued working without even closing an application. This obviously depends on the computer being close enough to the desk,” she notes.

The third element of the equation is the smallest device… and difficult to fit: the mouse, for which Hewitt has opted for a horizontal position, similar to that of the screen. For ease of use, the prototype includes a small table located just behind the top of the keyboard.

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“When I first tried the mouse in this position, I thought it would probably be useless because I would have to lift my right arm and support its weight; but the position of the mouse has been comfortable for me throughout the normal use of the computer”, says the creator of the system. By placing the thumb and part of the palm on the edge of the wooden board, the arm hangs comfortably without the user having to strain to keep it straight.

Hewitt acknowledges in any case that the mouse is “the weak link in the chain” and work on alternatives. “Since the publication of the article I have tried a new support, a little lower, at the same level as the space bar, already to the right of the keyboard; but my wrist extended to hold the mouse and it was uncomfortable. I have put it back where it was initially in the article,” she shares. He already has other options in mind to polish the prototype, such as a magnetic mouse equipped with magnets that allow it to be fixed vertically.

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Hewitt’s proposal is by no means the first attempt—and in all probability it will not be the last—to fulfill the dream of working lying down. At the end of 2021, Alex May, with chronic back problems since his teens, introduced “Lying Desk”, a somewhat different design, but with the same goal: that people can play with their PCs in a horizontal position.

Not all attempts are homemade.. years ago alternative work launched a peculiar “convertible workstation” designed for people with back or neck problems and somewhat reminiscent of adjustable dental chairs: it can be used for work sitting down, as in any armchair; or reclined, in the position in which we would prepare to have a tooth pulled.

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Advantages, of course. Although, as Hewitt admits, working lying down has a great handicap that is difficult to solve: «I can’t drink coffee lying down. And it is important :)».

Images | Stephen Hewitt