[Physical Fuel] Ergonomics At Home: What to Buy & How to Be Pain-Free

Andrew Folts
7 min readApr 14, 2020

Last summer, my body started to fall apart and I had to wade through a pile of ergonomic bullshit. This story is about what works. If you just want the step-by-step guide, skip down to the Process section. (:
— Andrew,
F the Lines

July 2019—Sleep is the most boring thing in the world until you can’t get any. And then suddenly it becomes very interesting. So interesting, in fact, that you start to feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

That was my general state of mind after two months of dealing with back pain last summer. It was so bad that I could barely sleep for more than an hour at a time, let alone get actual work done.

I would wake up with this horrible piercing sensation in my spine and literally couldn’t breathe because the smallest movements made it even worse.

Mentally, I was chained to a typewriter, but instead of “no play,” I was looping endlessly over fatigue, as it ate away at my sanity.

All pain and no sleep makes Andrew a dull boy. All pain and no sleep makes Andrew a dull boy. All pain and no sleep makes Andrew a dull boy.

Problem: Over-Supported

Barefoot shoes had fixed my feet, so my natural inclination was to try and fix my back by throwing out my mattress and sleeping on the floor.

It watched a few YouTube videos, grabbed some random bedding (sleeping bags, camping pads, blankets) and assumed the position…aka lying flat on my back and waiting for the pain to start.

The first night, I didn’t get much sleep.

I tried more cushion, less cushion, and then finally just straight-up sleeping on the carpet. It all felt better than sleeping on a mattress, but I was still waking up multiple times every night. It was far from ideal.

Andrew Folts

Author of 365 Comics. Writer, illustrator, and barefoot runner slinging minimalist hacks for creative rebels.