How You Can Slouch On All Types Of Ergonomic Chairs

I recently upgraded my computer chair to a fully ergonomic model. Nothing too fancy or weird, just a regular chair but with fully adjustable everything. I used to slouch terribly in my old chair so I considered the $500+ (yeah I know, not as much as some, but still not too shabby) that I spent on my new chair an investment in my health and posture. When I brought my chair home, I had all the best intentions in mind, I would adjust everything perfectly and begin to sit at my computer properly, according to all the rules. I lasted about 3 hours after that I was back to my old slouching ways.

It’s the funniest thing, but maintaining correct posture while sitting at your computer is damned uncomfortable, no matter what chair you use, which means I for one start slouching very quickly. So, after finding some comfortable and creative ways to slouch in my new chair I decided to do some research and find out if there is an ergonomic chair out there that can completely prevent you from ruining your posture slouching.

I found that there were 5 distinct types of ergonomic chairs out there.

1. Standard/Mesh Fully Adjustable Chair (With Lumbar Support)

Standard Ergonomic ChairThis is your regular stock standard ergonomic chair, looks like a normal chairs except you can adjust everything, height, back tilt, seat tilt and sometimes you can move the back further away from the seat as well.

You can’t really prevent yourself from slouching on these ones, you either have to constantly keep adjusting it, or you let your slouchy creativity flow. Try sliding down low on one of these babies, lower back problems anyone. How about leaning over to the side and putting most of your weight on one of the arm-rests, also very possible and reasonably comfortable.

These chairs don’t really do anything special to stop you from slouching, they are only good for people who don’t slouch already and just need a comfortable chair to support their good posture.

2. Saddle Ergonomic Chair

Saddle Ergonomic ChairNow, we are cooking with gas.  The saddle chair is shaped somewhat like a horse saddle (duh!), and comes with a back or without that’s up to individual preference. These chairs can put you into a half-straddling, half-standing position which makes regular slouching down in a chair impossible.

Those people who think standing up prevents you from slouching have never seen teens “hanging out” down at whatever local hang-out spot they frequent. Relaxing your shoulders and curving them slightly forward while standing up is the very definition of slouching and it’s super cool too (TV says so, therefore it must be true).

This chair fails also. Good concept and if it works for you then by all means use it, as far as I am concerned you can slouch on this as much if not more than on a regular chair.

3. Exercise Ball Ergonomic Chair

Ball Ergonomic ChairEverybody knows that fitness balls are good for you, right? I mean they’re in all the gyms and everybody uses them for all sorts of funny exercises so they must be awesome. So, we put a chair on a platform to prevent it from rolling away from you and we have the perfect office chair. Not only will you help your posture but you can get those rock-hard abba-dabbas all at the same time.

Well, I have to admit, as sarcastic as my last paragraph was this is actually not a bad concept. You can’t slide down on one of these and slouching sideways is also closed to you with no armrest. However once again, the fitness ball relies on you consciously keeping your back straight, nothing is preventing you from stooping your shoulders working on that perfect S-shaped spine that is all the rage these days.

And so another one bites the dust, it is certainly a possibility for some, but only if you have the motivation, willpower and presence of mind to consciously work on your posture.

4. Kneeling Ergonomic Chair

Kneeling Ergonomic ChairI’ve seen these ones before, it is an older concept that has been around for a while and there is probably a reason why it hasn’t disappeared in that time. The idea is that there is a platform in front of the seat that you rest your knees on so that your feet are pointing back rather than being in front of you as in a regular chair. These also come with or without a backrest depending on preference.

Because of the way your legs are positioned it is impossible for you to slide down in this chair or slouch sideways. The even better thing about this chair is that it also makes it fairly difficult for you to slouch your shoulders forward. It is not impossible mind you, but it does tend to be more comfortable to sit in this chair if you back is straight.

Out of the five types of chairs that I mention, I would consider this one the best type of ergonomic chair to help you correct and maintain your posture while you’re at your computer. That is, the best one if you want to still look more or less like a regular Joe office-worker. If you however want to get your weirdness meter going full bore there is the next chair.

5. Zero Gravity Recliner Chair

Recliner Ergonomic ChairI love the idea of this chair. This one is a full-on recliner chair and it is meant to be used by people who have back problems and simply aren’t able to use a regular chair for long periods of time. With this one you sit in a semi-reclined or even an almost fully reclined position. Obviously if you’re using one of these chairs, you can’t use a regular table (if you’re asking why, then think about it). You need to get a special desk/table that attaches to one of these chairs you can then out your laptop on it or write on it as well. I wouldn’t recommend trying to use a desktop PC with one of these, don’t think they are designed for it.

This one is probably tops as far as preventing you from slouching. Since you’re in an almost fully-reclined position, you can’t slide down and going sideways is also tough even though there are armrests. Slouching your shoulders is also not a problem, you’re reclining after all.

The biggest point in favour of this chair is that if you’re using one of these you probably already have some back issues which most likely provides you all the motivation you need to not slouch while you’re working. Even if you did find some creative ways to do it (which I probably could if I tried hard enough), you wouldn’t do it cause you know how much of an issue back problems can be.

Lessons Learned

So what did we learn from all this? Well, sadly slouching is like an addiction, once you’re used to it it is very hard to stop yourself from doing it and just like with any addiction willpower and persistence are the only ways to break your slouching habit. The first thing to do is to admit that you have a slouching problem (I definitely do). The second step is that you have to really want to kick your slouching habit, sadly I don’t think I am at that stage yet, if there was an easy way I would probably go for it, but I just don’t have the motivation to really put in the effort to teach myself not to slouch. I hope the motivation will come eventually, knowing something is bad for you is one thing, but doing something about it is altogether a different story.

The question I have for everyone is this. Do you know of any easy tips to help someone teach themselves not to slouch when they are at their computer? Maybe there is a simple way to slowly wean yourself off slouching and I just don’t know about it. Here is an idea, maybe I missed some sort of ultra-super-slouch-preventative chair (that doesn’t make you the office posture mascot). If you know of any other types of ergonomic seating, then please leave a comment and tell me about it.

Break Your Video Gaming Addiction The Easy Way


Do you find yourself playing the same PC game for hours on end? Do you give up sleep, family time and work just to spend an extra few hours behind the screen mashing buttons? If so, then you’re probably a video game addict, or at least well on your way to becoming one! Video game addiction has been in the spotlight repeatedly over the last few years, so as someone with some personal knowledge of the issue, I decided to provide some non-standard advice on how to overcome this problem.

I’ve been an avid gamer for years and during that time I have found one sure-fire way to make even the most addictive game boring. The key is to ruin the game for yourself, and the only really effective way to do that is to cheat! You didn’t expect me to say that did you? You expected me to give you some more generic advice on how to break your gaming addiction. Well, I found this to be the most effective way to wean yourself off any game you’re particularly attached to.

There are in total 4 ways I have found that allow you to cheat in games (and therefore ruin it for yourself). So, if you’re ready to break your gaming addiction, it is time for an intervention:


1. Read A Walkthrough (Simple)

Chances are you’re not the first person that has played the game you’re currently addicted to (unless you’re really, really hardcore), so there is a pretty good chance that someone has already finished the game and have written a step-by-step guide on exactly how to beat it and discover every single feature and Easter egg.

The fun part about playing a game is discovering new things and finding out what happens next based on your actions (it’s called immersiveness and replay value). The game becomes a lot more boring if you know exactly what will happen and there is absolutely nothing left for you to discover. Reading a walkthrough for your game written by someone else is one way to make sure the game holds no surprises for you and therefore holds absolutely no replay value. Gaming addiction 0 – you 1.

However, with some games it is the process of playing the game that is fun, unlocking buildings, zones or characters, making money, what could be better? This is where cheats come in.

2. Find Some Cheats (Easy)

Most games these days come with cheats built into the game (actually, games have had cheats ever since the very early days of gaming). Cheats are usually built into the game so that developers can try out different things without having to play through the game over and over. As you can imagine that may be time-consuming. When the game is released, these cheats may be disabled, but they can usually easily be enabled and used by you, Joe-video-game-addict.

Cheats are enabled differently in different games, sometimes you need to edit a configuration file where the game is installed (this can mostly be done using notepad), other times you need to do it through an in-game console. The point is, the same guy who wrote the walkthrough for the game (or possibly his brother) has already worked out how to enable the cheats for your game and also listed what the cheats are on a website somewhere. All you need is Google and a few minutes of your time and before you know you’ll have a fully cashed-up character with an uber-elite assault rifle and unlimited health. Nothing is guaranteed to cure your gaming addiction quicker than removing all challenge from a game. So, you 2 – gaming addiction 0.

But, sometimes those super-smart developers are able to remove cheats from a game completely and there is no easy way for you to get them back. Luckily there are some even smarter developers around.

3. Use A Trainer (Medium Complexity)

That’s right there are whole groups of really smart developer-type hacker people who spend all of their free time creating little applications that allow you to cheat in your game regardless of whether cheats are switched on or off. These little application are called Trainers (yeah just like personal trainers in the gym).

Trainers come as a separate little application that you need to launch along side your game. When both the trainer and the game are launched at the same time pressing certain key combinations during your gameplay will do all sorts of wonderful things to your game that will make it a whole lot easier and a lot less interesting. The key combinations differ from trainer to trainer and from game to game, but most trainers come with pretty comprehensive documentation that explains what the key combinations are and what they do inside your game.

All you have to do is spend a little bit more time with Google (it really is your best internet buddy) and search for a trainer for your game. However if you want to be pointed in the right direction, go to Gamecopyworld. If the trainer you’re looking for is not there, it probably doesn’t exist yet.

So, what was the score, oh yeah, you 3 – gaming addiction 0. Hang on a second though, didn’t I just say that a trainer may not exist for a game? Unfortunately such a situation is not unheard of, but don’t despair, you can still kick your video game addiction in the teeth by developing some ‘lite haxor skills of your own.

4. Get A Memory Editor (Advanced)

Ok, you don’t really need to develop any hacking skills, cause some really bright dudes out there in internet-land are looking after you and that is why they created a memory editor. The best memory editor I’ve used is ArtMoney.

When you run a memory editor while your game is running, the editor has access to the memory space that the game is using. This means that you can manipulate any numeric value in your game by directly modifying the memory address where that numeric value is stored. So, money, health, points they are all at your mercy, you can make them low and you can make them high, you can even freeze them at a particular value. The ruin of your gaming fun is almost guaranteed.

Alright I admit, you do need some skills to use a memory editor properly. You need to be able to read numbers in hexadecimal and you do need a basic understanding of how numbers are stored in memory. However, Google can come to your rescue here again. If you search hard enough, you’ll be able to find plenty of ArtMoney tutorials online that will take you through the program step by step and teach you a little bit about numbers, memory and computers as well. Not only will you be investing some time into kicking your gaming habit, but you will also learn some sweet new computer skills while doing it.

Hopefully by this stage you will have K.Oed. your gaming addiction no matter how interesting, exciting and addictive your game was before you got your cheating little hands on it.


Now that I’ve shared my advice with you, it is time for disclaimers. If there is one article that probably needs disclaimers this one is it.

Firstly, the advice I give is only applicable for single player PC games. It is possible to cheat in multiplayer games, but it is not only unfair to other players but is in some cases illegal as well. At best you can get yourself banned from playing the game (which is certainly one way to cure a gaming addiction). At worst you may have legal proceedings initiated against you. I am in no way advocating cheating in multiplayer games, so if you decide to go down that path, on your head be it.

If you’re a console gamer, then alas, you’re on your own for I know nothing of your world. I have no idea if cheats are even available as an avenue for you to break your gaming addiction. However my core advice of ruining the game for yourself in some way is still very sound and my point about walkthroughs still applies.

Lastly I am not a psychologist (as you may have gathered from my About Page) so the advice I give is not professional (unless having played lots and lots of games is considered a profession). I found that the methods I outlined work for me when I find myself getting addicted to a game and the theory is sound. However, if they don’t work for you, the best advice I can give you is to seek professional help.

Phew, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, I hope that you enjoyed this post and found the advice helpful. At the very least I hope you learned something you didn’t know before. If you have any other advice for breaking video game addiction that is perhaps non-standard and uses some lateral thinking, please leave a comment and tell everyone what it is.

Why Teams Succeed And Why They Fail


Any team will usually be made up of 2 types of people, leaders and followers. And I don’t mean this according to their designated position on the team, but according to their disposition as individuals.

Some people are inherently leaders while others are inherently followers. Both kinds of people can be equally competent (or incompetent) in their job, but leaders will inevitably strive to take charge of situations, promote their agenda and generally try to take the team where they think it should go. Followers on the other hand, will tend to stay in the background and will not push their opinion as forcefully. And no, this is not just extroverted and introverted behaviour. There are plenty of introverted leaders and extroverted followers.

How Would A Team Form Naturally

Whenever a team is formed for any purpose, it is important to know what kind of individuals will make up the team and based on this knowledge, it is even more important to make sure that the roles the people are assigned on the team are conducive to the teams ability to perform.

The leaders in any group of people will naturally tend to dominate. Some leaders will be stronger than others and will tend dominate the weaker leaders, while the followers will align themselves behind the hierarchy that forms. This of course is what would happen if we let a team form naturally with no interference. In real life however, management and other external factors will always play a role when deciding what positions particular people hold on a team.

What Kind Of Teams Form In Real Life

Usually the person who ends up leading the team, is assigned to the role and this person will either be a strong leader, a weak leader or a follower (yep, a follower in a leadership role, like that has never happened before). Based on the type of person the assigned leader is and the natural dispositions of the other people in the team, you will end up with one of 4 situations:

  • a strong leader with a team full of followers
  • a strong leader with a team full of leaders
  • a weak leader with a team full of followers
  • a weak leader with a team full of leaders types-of-teams

I have made the following assumptions:

  • if there is more than one potential leader in the team, I consider it a team full of leaders
  • a weak leader is the same as a follower when there is a team full of leaders
  • a weak leader is the same as a strong leader when there is a team full of followers

With this information in hand, we can actually make a fairly accurate prediction regarding how the team will function and whether or not they can be successful and productive.

1. Strong Leader – Team Full Of Followers

This kind of team can be very successful. Infact the vast majority of successful teams have probably fallen into this category. A strong or visionary leader at the head of a group of weaker leaders and followers.

The leader will be respected by all the people in the team and his authority is unlikely to be challenged. The team members will want the respect of the leader and will therefore do their best when performing their roles. The leader, being a strong leader is able to channel the energy of the team constrictively and maintain morale.  The strong leader is also able to shield the team from outside interference.

The results that this kind of team can produce can be quite spectacular, like I said, this is the classic structure of a successful team. The reason it is the classic structure is because it is closest to what would naturally occur if the team was left to form organically. This also means that there are no major challenges when it comes to managing such a team as the team is already where it wants to be.

The one major weakness of this situation is the fact that everything is riding on the strong leader. If the leader were to be taken out of the picture for whatever reason (illness, moving on to a different role, etc.), there is a very good chance that such a team would collapse. At the very least productivity would suffer, unless there is a likely successor who is also a strong leader, but then this team would have fallen into the next category.

2. Strong Leader – Team Full Of Leaders

When a team falls in this category a lot of good things can happen. Potentially this is the best performing team and can achieve the kinds of the results that the other 3 types of teams can only dream about. However managing this kind of situation is extremely challenging and requires significant energy and commitment  on behalf of the leader as well as a level of flexibility on behalf of the other leaders who make up the team.

Most people are only human (well, all people, I guess) and can’t maintain the kind of energy and drive necessary to make this kind of team continuously successful. Therefore, when a team falls into this category, it can usually produce excellent results for a short period of time and average/good results the rest of the time.

The team members all respect each other and the leader in charge and they are all happy to work together. But, at the same time, if the strong leaders “drops the reigns” even to a small degree, the others can’t help but try to fill the gaps. This is not a failing on their part as they are only doing what good leaders should, showing initiative and picking up the slack. Unfortunately, the different people on the team would tend to pick up the slack in different places which leads to a leadership conflict (it is not necessarily overt, but it is there to some degree). This tends to unfocus the team significantly.

If you can succeed in managing this kind of team well and keeping them constantly focused (be warned that this does not happen often), the team can produce some truly superb results, but the level of experience and energy required, means that only a very few strong leaders can accomplish this.

3. Weak Leader – Team Full Of Followers

This situation is actually similar to the first situation. Here we still have a leader with a team full of followers, however the leader is not a very strong leader and is not necessarily visionary. I would say that the majority of teams out there would probably fall into this category. This kind of team is by no means a bad team. It can produce some fairly decent results and if the weaker leader is experienced, it can even produce very good results. However I would not count on anything more than average from this kind of team at any one time.

In this case the weaker leader may be respected by most of the members of the team, but some of the better followers (I.e. they are excellent at their job, but not leaders by disposition) may not respect him as much, since they can tell that he is not a strong leader. The leader may know where the team needs to get to, but simply does not have the capability to motivate and focus the team to a sufficient degree.

A lot of the time when a team is in this situation, the weak leader will subconsciously recognise that he doesn’t have the capability to drive the team as he should and will therefore tend to not interact with the team as much as he should. This can degenerate into managing/leading by e-mail, which works to some extent, but is not the way to get the best possible results from a team.

4. Weak Leader – Team Full Of Leaders

This is the worst situation for a team to be in. It is actually similar in some ways to number 2 above but only in that it is what number 2 could be at it’s worst. Here the leader is comparatively ineffectual since many of the people he is leading, can see themselves doing a better job in his place.

The respect may or may not be there, but the weak leader is certainly not respected by everyone on the team. Other team members constantly exercise their initiative even if it sometimes to the detriment of the team. The weak leader is unable to get the majority of the people to line up behind him and buy into his vision, instead the other leaders try to pitch their own vision to each other and the team. In this situation it is common for a team to fracture into multiple cliques as multiple people get behind their preferred stronger leader.

Having said all of this, it doesn’t mean that this kind of team can’t show results. If there are enough good followers and some other good leaders on the team, this team can perform fairly well, mostly by virtue of the individual effort of these people. However, this kind of team can never gel properly unless the weak leader is replaced and will therefore never show results that are better than average.

What Can We Learn From This?

The biggest lesson to take away from this is, know your people! This just incidentally happens to be one of the core laws of leadership, in the army they say, know you men (and women). If you know the natural tendencies of your people, you are a lot better equipped to place them in a team situation where they have a better chance of success.

The second lesson is pretty common sense. If you don’t have a strong leader, you need to find one. If you do have one, make sure they don’t get lured away while your team is in the middle of doing its thing. You can’t really go wrong with putting a strong leader in charge of a team. However not having a strong leader in charge can be quite detrimental to team productivity and moral.

Lastly,  everything I stated above is my opinion based on my thoughts, observations and ideas. I would love to hear other people’s opinions regarding the role of leadership in the success/failure of teams, so please leave a comment  if you have something to say on the subject.