ideal computer setup in bed

hmnr asg

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Hi everyone,
As someone who works with a computer and has CFS I have been finding it harder and harder to sit at a desk.

Also, I cant really "sit up" in bed with a laptop because I have neck pain. The best I can do is to use a wedge to slightly incline my head in bed but then how can i use a computer? I even bought one of these laptop bed tables but it doesnt lift and incline the screen enough for me to be able to have a proper view [https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BLX8426 ]. You still have to be basically sitting up.

I was looking at this Altwork desk [https://altwork.com/ ] and I thought this would be perfect until i saw the price tag! 4-7k USD!

Has anyone found a way to do computer work in bed ? what is your setup?
I am tagging our industrious friend here as always in case he has any suggestions: @Hip

Thanks!
 
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Using the computer in bed sounds really difficult if you're not able to sit up, and you're not able to shell out an extra couple thousand dollars for a new tilted desk!

I have a couple of ideas, but I'm not sure how good any of them are. First, have you ever considered getting these crazy glasses that are kind of like little periscopes? That could help you see the screen a bit better without having to sit up, although I imagine that they would take a bit of getting used to.
Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 9.26.34 PM.png



Another thought: do you have a tablet? There are lots of tablet holders that can clamp onto your bed or bedside table and are incredibly adjustable, like this one. You could even pair it with a bluetooth keyboard.
Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 9.29.19 PM.png



I also wonder if you might be able to use a higher wedge pillow like this one that could prop you up a little bit higher while still supporting your neck?

1599010494981.png


(seeing this model with a cup of tea on the bed next to her makes me cringe--I feel like that's just a recipe for disaster!)
 

WantedAlive

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I'm experiencing the very same challenge. I have a good office setup with large dual screens which I doubt I could replicate in bed, and then there's access to printer and hard copy storage within reach. Sitting at a desk, like you I develop neck pain, then shoulder and arm pain, and sometimes RSI, nowadays within an hour. It seems to be energy related as my desk endurance improves significantly with Amino acids, D-Ribose or anything that's working at the time and for as long as it lasts.

I'm still trying to preserve my ability to use a desk as long as I can. I have found an inflatable neck collar useful in this endeavour by maintaining a good posture without over-burdening neck muscles. They're pretty cheap on Amazon and may help you postpone your bed setup. I'm wheelchair bound so I also rest my elbows on pillows on the arm rests to help with shoulder pain. This all buys me maybe another hour or two at the desk by which time my wrists and forearms are aching and I have to stop anyway.

Thanks for posting this thread, I'll be keen to see what options there are.
 

hmnr asg

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@RebeccaRe
Thank you for the suggestions. Those glasses look wild! i had no idea such a thing existed. I should try them.
The higher wedge would be a good idea too. My current wedge is very flat and i dont think I can get any possible setup that would work with that.

@WantedAlive
I also have a pretty amazing setup, dual monitor and a few laptops and an expensive desk, but alas the cfs has taken my ability to work for prolonged periods of time. I just find it that I can work much longer when im lying down. I have one of those reclining chairs and when I read there I can go much longer than sitting. I think maybe my heart has a hard time pumping blood to my body when it has to work against gravity (or something).

I was thinking that perhaps one solution is to get an articulating monitor arm like this:
[https://smile.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Premium-Single-Monitor-Stand/dp/B00MIBN16O/ ]
1599028829096.png

And attach it to a desk that is beside my bed and have it turn towards my bed (hanging in the air) or use one of these hospital tray type desks: [https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00QMNTMXA/ ]
1599029847056.png

And then use one of these for the keyboard and mouse: (but now you cant look at your keyboard when you type)
[https://smile.amazon.com/Avantree-Adjustable-Portable-Standing-Breakfast/dp/B01A81FBQS ]

1599028950726.png

And I guess I would need one of these trackball mouses (mice? :|) that dont need to move:
[https://smile.amazon.com/Logitech-Ergo-Wireless-Trackball-Mouse/dp/B0753P1GTS ]

1599029118377.png

The trick is to have a long enough monitor arm and something to attach it to so it would be secure. Of course the monitor would have to be bigger because you cant maintain the same proximity to the monitor with this setup. I suppose i have to turn on accessibility features of the monitor as well.
I might end up breaking my neck but its better than paying 7k for that altwork desk (it does look amazing though).

What do you guys think?
 
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nyanko_the_sane

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I also have a pretty amazing setup, dual monitor and a few laptops and an expensive desk, but alas the cfs has taken my ability to work for prolonged periods of time. I just find it that I can work much longer when im lying down...
I have a nice desk that just sits there and collects dust now. I gave my powerful little computer to a family member, I figured they would get more use out of it than I could. I have some nice large monitors in the portrait orientation, but alas these screens are dark now.

I just have my trusty MacBook Pro that keeps me company in bed. It is tough to get any work done though.

I have seen all kinds of cool inexpensive wall mountable arms for laptops or monitors on Amazon, but I have never used any of them. If anyone has a nice inexpensive solution that works, I would be interested too.
 

Hipsman

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I use stool (seat) on top of bed for better viewing angles on a laptop (I put the laptop on top of the stool, I recommend 17' inch laptop), there seems to be products that do much better job at this, but they are terribly expensive! Not sure if this will work with neck pain.

Btw, with windows Remote Desktop you can use your desktop PC on a laptop as if it's natively running on the laptop, you could use low performance laptop model to get high performance from desktop hardware instead of overpaying for high performance laptop.

I'm yet to try this as I don't have desktop PC right now, but from reviews I read there seems to be very little or no lag as long as the WiFi that connects the two computers is good.

This requires that both computers run windows Pro or LTSC or LTSB, but you can easily download these special windows editions and activate them with AutoKMS for free)

There are 3-party alternatives that don't require special versions of windows and can run cross platform on OS X, Linux, but they cost $.
 

hmnr asg

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I found another company besides altwork that also does these zero gravity setups but as you can imagine they are also crazy expensive. But i thought i add them here so we have a full account of all the relevant information in the same thread.

This company has custom setups for beds which is more useful for people with chronic illness than the one by altwork.
Please check them out and try not to panic when you see the prices:

http://www.ergoquest.com/overbed-workstations.html

1599198993693.png
1599199162579.png
 
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hmnr asg

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I use stool (seat) on top of bed for better viewing angles on a laptop (I put the laptop on top of the stool, I recommend 17' inch laptop), there seems to be products that do much better job at this, but they are terribly expensive! Not sure if this will work with neck pain.

Btw, with windows Remote Desktop you can use your desktop PC on a laptop as if it's natively running on the laptop, you could use low performance laptop model to get high performance from desktop hardware instead of overpaying for high performance laptop.

I'm yet to try this as I don't have desktop PC right now, but from reviews I read there seems to be very little or no lag as long as the WiFi that connects the two computers is good.

This requires that both computers run windows Pro or LTSC or LTSB, but you can easily download these special windows editions and activate them with AutoKMS for free)

There are 3-party alternatives that don't require special versions of windows and can run cross platform on OS X, Linux, but they cost $.
Thanks @Hipsman for the info. I always use my linux laptop to remote into my desktop.
I was thinking of getting a surface pro for my work, but not sure how well it will run linux. Have to do some digging around. For now i will be trying some of these DIY setups before I decide what to do.
 
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It is not pretty nor perfect but I use a zero gravity patio chair with a hospital-style bed table. I keep keyboard on lap (I can touch type decently) and try to minimize mouse use because it is on the taller table. This can give me about 1-2 hours of productivity, but I really only use it 1 hour at a time because any more will make me crash.