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Workstation for a Person Who Can Stand or Lie Down (But Not Sit)

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A young woman was hit on the head by a log with resulting chronic back pain and an inability to sit in a chair. She can stand for modest periods of time, but prefers lying down with her back flat on a hard surface such as the floor and needs to alternate between the two. Standing in a static posture is difficult. She needed improved access to a computer for working in a small space at home and needed a very lightweight device that she could take with her. She had a table that almost came up high enough for typing while standing and a flat panel monitor.


Docking station within workstation frame
Docking station within workstation frame
Workstation for person who cannot sit
Workstation for person who cannot sit

Working while standing: Add an adjustable keyboard tray to the existing table that can rise up above the work surface and provide angle adjustability. (Idea@Work AKP-85). Utilize the consumer's existing monitor adjusted to an appropriate height. Provide a Logitech diNovo wireless keyboard and mouse.

Working while supine: Beginning with a 12� lightweight Lenovo X60 notebook computer, mount the device at a 90 degree angle so that it is supported over her head with the screen parallel to her face while she is lying on the floor. Provide a GoldTouch keyboard with a Posture-Rite beanbag lap desk on her lap for keyboarding and a Kensington Expert Mouse trackball flat on the floor for mousing. Provide NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software to reduce the amount of typing required while lying down and an ability to move about while standing up.

Implementation: Utilizing the space under the table and the table structure itself, attach a 2x6 across the two tubular legs with U-bolts for use as a mounting surface for an ErgoTron LX flat panel monitor arm with an extra extension piece for additional reach and flexibility. Use the Lenovo expansion dock to allow easy removal of the computer while maintaining connections to the external monitor, wireless keyboard, and mouse on the table above and the keyboard and trackball below.

Challenge: Needed to design a custom base to hold the dock so that it too can be easily removable when needed (it holds the CD/DVD Drive). Due to very tight clearances between computer and dock and limited unused surfaces, utilized existing small holes in the side and cable screw-down holes in the top of the dock as points of attachment, with fixed pins on the side and pins attached to a sliding bar with a knob on the top.


Ray Grott, MA, ATP

Rehabilitation Engineering & Technology Project

San Francisco State University