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How to flip between multiple books without hurting back and neck

epkann
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02/21/2019 - 11:31am
How to flip between multiple books without hurting back and neck

I'm studying Classics (so lots of books of different sizes open at the same time, flipping between books and pages in the same book to check dictionaries, commentaries, glossaries etc.; need often to turn books upside down to read charts). I am having so much trouble finding a comfortable setup despite having multiple book holders all over my desk. And of course the Greek font is super small, so I keep craning my neck to see the accent marks. The result is my back and neck hurt constantly!

Does anyone have a suggestion? When I try to do this in a better way for my back and neck, I just get SUPER slow at my studies. I get so annoyed with pinning the pages flat, when I need to flip to the back of the book in another minute, that I end up setting books flat on my desk and holding them when I need to flip between pages, but then I end up in a hunched position and my vertebrae aren't stacked and my head drops forward and my arms get tired. The thing that helps most seems to be taking lots of breaks, and learning as much vocab in advance so I don't need to reference the dictionary and commentaries as often, but that only helps to a certain extent.

Thanks a lot!!

 

P.S. - I know humans didn't evolve to become Classics scholars, but "pick a different field of study" isn't really an option!

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04/08/2015 - 6:54am

Thanks for reaching out to us!  It sounds like you have quite the challenge...  Reading a lot and having to bend over many books constantly can definitely create neck and back pain if dome improperly over a long period of time. 

 

You don't mentioned whether you've taken the Foundation course or not, and if you haven't, that would be my number one recommendation!  Having a teacher to guide you in improving your posture can't be replaced. You'll have to work hard at learning hip hinging and inner corset, just to name a few techniques. Maybe a brush up one on one course would help as well, to correct habits that you can't see.

 

 Bending over a table does not necessarily equate with pain, as you can see in Esther's book - the African carpenter with the stunning posture is a good example of that!  Do you lead an active life outside your work? Back and neck muscles need to be strong to assist with good posture.  Can you experiment with working at different height tables?

 

Taking regular breaks, stretching a bit and moving around are definitely important as well!  You seem to be doing that and it is crucial to balance a sedentary schedule.  Rather than seeing your studies as a negative endeavour for the body, you can see it as an opportunity to strengthen muscles through good posture. In time, you may surprise yourself by finding it easier.  

 

Good luck! 

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