Search This Blog

Monday, February 24, 2014

Longarming and Ergonomics

Once again a topic has developed on one of the groups I participate in and it involves something I think should be shared here. In our case we use an Innova Longarm by ABM International, our choice. But based on seeing other machines being used and using other machines I think my thoughts are worth sharing. If it helps one longarmer get just a little more comfort while using their machine then I know it was worth sharing. Think about it. The machine comes with numerous features that are adjustable...adjust it to fit you.

My wife, in a former life, was a Health, Safety and Risk Manager for years. One of her recognized fields of expertise was Ergonomics. PantoVison and the machine design were a factor in her final decision as which machine to purchase. That and my temper tantrums because standing behind the power tool was just plain silly to me. Simply stated...if tension develops while using the machine in your wrists, forearms, elbow or shoulder joints and you get fatigued quickly while longarming it is improperly adjusted for your height and physical characteristics. I can quilt, and have, for eight hours without any fatigue in my neck, upper torso, arms, wrists or hands. My old knees take a beating. That's what Ibuprofen is for. I think my knees are 20 years older than I am. It may take some time to find the right adjustments that suit your particular needs. But being relaxed, longarming without the worry of stiffness or soreness while doing it is so much more enjoyable. Take the time to find your comfort level. The attached photo depicts some of the characteristics of the ergonomic positions that keep me relaxed when quilting.
Forearms relatively parallel to the floor
Arms are relaxed and hanging freely from the shoulders.
Wrists are relaxed, straight and without tension due to a light fingertip control of the handles.
The upright posture keeps pressure off my lower back and the screen height has been adjusted so as not to create tension in my neck. (I've never done a paper panto but I'm assuming the constant looking down could be a pain in the neck.)
Hopefully you can see the difference between the relaxed operating posture of the one photo (sleeveless) and the one (with sleeves) where I am stooped over, neck tensed up with at death grip on the handles. One is just looking for muscle and joint problems that will lead to being fatigued quickly, not to mention sore. The other is going to make my time at the machine effortless, enjoyable and wondering where the time went.
That's not to say I'm not going to have a tension headache. But that's what the Towa Gauge is for.
The wireless headset...ZZ Top, Led Zeppllin, Queen, Madison Rising, Who, Rush, Dead Can Dance, Cream, it's a long list, mostly dealing with Rock, be it classical, alternative, or 21st Century. Like someone once said...
"Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk
It's still rock and roll to me"

No comments:

Post a Comment