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Here you will find my thoughts on being human, based on my ongoing research into robotic and human motion, neuroscience, physiology, and machine learning. You will also find videos of my talks and papers from the Dynamic Tensegrity Robotics Lab which I lead at the NASA Ames Research Center.
— Enjoy! — Vytas SunSpiral
Based on my understanding of human physiology and motion, here are some quick reviews on my favorite ergonomic tools. These are the ones I use at home and at work. I will add more in-depth posts discussing the alignment theory as I get them written.
FitBall Sitting Disc
Sitting Discs are a great way to train for Active Sitting. By destabilizing the surface you are sitting on, they engage your core muscles and keep you in dynamic motion while your body actively balances on the disk. I recommend the larger 15" disc. In Depth Review
Salli Saddle Stool
The Salli saddle stools are one of the best stools for Active Sitting. They hold your pelvis upright, so that your spine can be well aligned with gravity, while also allowing your knees to be lower than your hips to keep your hamstrings and hip-flexors from shortening. Actively sitting takes effort, so increase your time in the saddle slowly.
3M Ergonomic Mouse
The vertical design keeps the arm in a well aligned neutral "handshake" position that prevents the shoulder from rolling forward. By keeping your shoulders back and the scapula flat on your back you avoid many of the common sources of wrist pain. This is the biggest bang for your buck if you are having wrist pain. It comes in small and large sizes (small is linked below). Sadly, I have only seen it for right hands.
Like the 3M mouse above, this keyboard allows you to have your hands in a more neutral vertical position which reduces many of the problems associated with wrist and shoulder pain. It also allows you to spread the key pads to be at shoulder width so that you don't have to twist your wrist like on a straight keyboard.
A sit stand desks allows you to dance while working! It also allows you change between a variety of different sitting options and standing so that you don't get stuck in one position. The best option that I have found is from GeekDesk.com. I have two from them and they are the cheapest and have held up well. You can save even more money by buying just the base frame from GeekDesk and getting the table top from Ikea. You save on price and shipping is significantly less this way.
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Anatomy of Movement
This was the best book I have read for learning about the function of my own body and is endlessly useful for anyone who is alive and moving in the world. Ever have pain when you make a specific motion and wonder what is going on? This book will help you isolate the muscles responsible for that motion. By showing how each muscle moves your body under different conditions, you will learn their *use* rather than just memorizing a bunch of names.
Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists
This book is great to see and understand the complex network of tension in the living body, and to learn about fascia and how it works.
Rhythms of the Brain
This recently published book covers cutting edge theories of how the brain works. The key focus is on how the brain relies heavily on coupled oscillatory networks, timing loops, and synchronization. It also discusses how the activity in the brain can be viewed as a dynamic tensegrity structure. A more technical book, but well worth the effort!