Work at the computer while lying comfortably with a homemade stand above the bed

Stephen Hewitt tried to find an arrangement for the keyboard, mouse, and monitor so that he could lie comfortably while using the computer. Describes the arrangement and reports on experiences of use. Of course, he would not have wondered what general motives one might have to work while lying down.

The layout is illustrated below, and the next three sections summarize the main points related to the keyboard, mouse, and screen.


Work on an extended computer. This mode proved to be quite comfortable for Stephen Hewitt in over a hundred hours of use. The keyboard is mounted to the top, so getting out of bed from below is quick and easy. The mouse pad is a horizontal white wood shown here behind the keyboard. The screen, resting on parallel bars, can be placed in any position along its length by screwing it up and moving it.

keyboard

The keyboard is vertical and hangs from the top.

In this arrangement, the weight of your arms is supported by your elbows resting on the mattress. This is important because having to raise your arms to type is inconvenient and impossible for more than a minute or two.

Placing your elbows on the mattress means that the keyboard height above the mattress must be adjusted so that your fingers reach the correct range of the keys.

When it comes to lying under my keyboard, Stephen Hewitt has found it important to be able to get in and out of bed with ease: There’s often something I need, like a phone, a sheet of paper, or a work-related reason that requires me to get over. With the keyboard supported only at the top and unobstructed along the exit side of the bed, getting out of bed is quick and easy.


Stephen Hewitt working on a comfortably reclining computer, with measurements of the chosen distances on the keyboard and screen from the mattress and headboard. This arrangement was derived from subjective trial and error and the optimal value for at least some of these distances may depend on the individual and screen size. In particular, the height of the keyboard above the mattress must definitely be adapted to the length of the forearms, so that the weight of the arms can be supported by the elbows on the mattress.

the mouse

The mouse is shown in the figure below. The mouse pad is a horizontal surface behind the vertical keyboard and flows into the top of it. The back of the mouse pad can be seen in the first figure as a block of white wood protruding from behind the keyboard.

When I first tried the mouse in this position, I thought it would probably be unusable because I would have to raise my right arm and support its weight. I actually found raising my arm unbearable to write. But the mouse position has proven to be comfortable for me for all my regular computer uses. The main reason for this is that the mouse’s location on a horizontal surface means that I can place my thumb on the ball and part of the palm of my right hand on the edge of that horizontal surface. The weight of my arm could hang off my hand like a hook. Although not entirely comfortable, I can leave my hand on the mouse for minutes without any problem. I don’t want to do this for longer periods of time, and a couple of times when I knew I would only be using the mouse and not the keyboard, I brought the mouse to bed.

The mouse is actually close to his right hand, probably closer than he is on a horizontal desk: I can’t see the mouse even when I’m using it, but my hand always finds it immediately. This means that I don’t even have to look at the mouse when I’m holding it.


Mouse, keyboard, and monitor designed to work at your computer while lying down.

Screen

The screen is nearly horizontal. Il peut tre directement au-dessus de la tte et sa position peut facilement tre modifie car il repose sur des rails de 1 m de long et Stephen Hewitt peut le lever et le faire glisser facilement vers la tte ou le pied du lit pendant qu’ He’s working.

However, he did mention that there were days when at some point while using this arrangement he had a pain in the back of his neck, although he made it clear that this didn’t happen often. Solution: Adjust the pillow so that the head is tilted more forward (although Stephen Hewitt admits that this effect may be subjective to him). For example, he felt uncomfortable sitting near the front in cinemas where you have to look a little to see the screen and preferred to sit back and up.

The monitor can be lifted off the rails and placed on a desk. Stephen Hewitt bought a video extension cable and mains cable and sometimes he would take the monitor off the rails and bring it back to the next office and it kept working even without closing an app. This obviously depends on the proximity of the computer between the desk and the bed.


Stand to use the mouse. You can use your hand as a hook supporting your arm, with your hand itself transferring the weight to the edge of the mouse pad.

Source: Stephen Hewitt

And you?

Have you ever tried to work on a computer while lying down?
What do you think of the experiment suggested by Stephen Hewitt?
Do you tend to make physical adjustments to be able to work in a position other than sitting?
Do you have an anecdote you’d like to share about a position you took on while working from home?

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