Things Casey Uses
After my hands went numb several years ago (they’re mostly recovered!), I invested a lot in equipment to help my body recover. I’m sharing this list in case it can help anyone else.
Probably the coolest thing on this list is my portable laptop stand, people ask about it all the time.
Amazon vs Non-Amazon
- Do you buy things from Amazon? Please use these links so Casey gets an affiliate referral cut from your purchase. It actually doesn’t mater what product you end up buying - you could choose alternatives to each of these, and Casey will still get a cut of the purchase (as long as you clicked one of these links recently).
- Do you avoid Amazon (like Casey)? That’s great! Please let him know where else you found these items.
Preventing Nerve Injury (Numbness, Tingling, Tension)
Numbness and tingling (nerves), and tension (muscles) are no joke! These are what Casey uses / has used to prevent and recover from nerve injury:
- Wrist Brace - for carpel tunnel (numb thumb, pointer, middle fingers), worn while at the computer or piano. This brace is sold one at a time, you might want to buy two of them. It’s reversible!
- Elbow Brace - for cubital tunnel (numb pinky/ring finger), worn while sleeping. I tried a bunch, this one was the most comfortable (none are comfortable though lol).
- Pop Socket - for texting thumb (tight/painful thumb muscles), used while phone-ing. I miss wireless charging, but it is totally worth it! I also drop my phone a lot less.
- Monitor on a Stand - For your posture, you don’t want to be looking down at the laptop sitting on the desk. Your neck needs to be neutral. Bring the screen to your gaze, not your gaze to your screen.
- Standing Desk - I usually stand for 1-3 hours each day, and sit the rest. I love a “standing desk” for sitting too!! I use it to bring the table/keyboard height to my natural position for typing - lower than a standard table. Bring the desk/keyboard to your body, not your body to the desk/keyboard. I got the size that’s so big you can fit a hammock under it, but I often wish I had gotten a size down since my apartment isn’t all that big.
- Standing Desk Foot Stool - You need good posture while standing too. Putting a foot on something helps keep your core/posture engaged. I was surprised how much this helped, I only tried it because my physical therapist recommended it.
- Yoga Ball - I use a yoga ball to sit on for an hour a day on average. It’s another way to get my core engaged, while giving my legs a bit of a break.
- Adjustable Height Chair - When I tried a bunch of chairs in-person, this was the best fit for my tall/thin body, but it probably isn’t the best one for you. You have to try chairs to see how they fit you. You need a chair with adjustable height and lumbar support (could be a pillow). Even a cheap $50 adjustable height chair is better than a non-adjustable one.
- Lumbar Throw Pillow - I got a similar one to this at Target, and I use it all the time! I move it higher or lower behind my back while sitting depending on how I feel. I’ve seen some others with straps, but personally I think that’s overkill. I don’t know if this particular one I linked is firm enough or not, just trying to give you an idea of the shape. These pillows are in lots of local stores.
- Split Keyboard - You don’t want your wrists bent sideways while typing, that can lead to carpel tunnel. KeyboardThe split keyboard lets you bring the keyboard to your natural hand position, instead of taking your hands unnaturally to the keyboard.
- Desk Stand Mic - I got this one because it’s cheap and has a stand. It’s not the highest quality mic, but it’s better than my laptop mic and I can also bring it to me instead of leaning into the mic - good for my posture.
- External Audio Interface - When I was recording my audio book, my external mic picked up a lot of electronic static - that’s a common problem! When your audio card is inside your computer it picks up that electric fuzz. That’s why they make “external audio interface” devices that are basically an electrically-insulated audio card that sits outside your computer. Who knew! This one is the simpler/cheaper model of a reliable and well-known brand.
I work from coffee shops all the time! When I’m out of the house I especially have to make sure: I have a healthy setup, I can be heard on calls, I have power, and I can connect to things like screens.
- Folding Laptop Stand - Looking down to laptop-on-a-table height will hurt you, you need to look up. This gets your laptop screen most of the way up to where it should be, and it’s super portable. You’ll also need a wireless mouse/keyboard.
- Apple Wireless Keyboard - I need this since my laptop is up on the folding stand.
- Apple Wireless Trackpad - I need this since my laptop is up on the folding stand.
- Headset with Directional Mic - I use these for video calls on my laptop. With these on I can even take calls from medium-noisy coffee shops - people on the other side of the video call don’t hear the noise at all!
- Apple Airpods - I especially use these for phone calls so my elbow doesn’t have to stay bent (that makes my fingers go numb). For long calls (1h+) I alternate one earbud at a time, because their mic-on battery life is ~1h (mic-off is much longer).
- Outlet Splitter - when you carry an outlet splitter, no need to worry when an outlet is already being used. There’s room for you!
- Battery Pack - this battery pack is the size of an xl phone, and charges my MacBook Air more than once. I don’t even need outlets most days.
- USB-C Multi-Adapter - USB-C to HDMI/USB-A/USB-C. I originally bought this adapter for my Switch (it’s functionally the same as the Switch dock! same ports). This also works with my Mac, so now I mainly use it for that. It’s the same shape/size as the more expensive Apple one. The Apple one is a lot more reliable (less fidgeting to get it to work), but I still use this cheaper one on-the-go.
- USB-C to USB-A adapter - this simple adapter is cheap and reliable.
- Actually good earplugs. I got these for marching band, but now I wear them to bars too! Why? Both for my hearing health AND for audio fatigue. I want to be able to hear well even in old age — and when my Apple Watch tells me “you are in a noisy environment!!” I’m thankful for the reminder. I ALSO get really tired from being around the noise too — so I can last twice as long at a bar with these! These particular earplugs don’t muffle the sound at all. The sound is so clear I’m always wondering if they’re even in! (they are — it’s SO loud when I take them out)