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Ergonomic chair, desk system helps civilian stand to work

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Melanie McDonald, a speech writer with the commander's action group here, uses a specially designed hydraulic chair and desk elevation system to help alleviate her back pain.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Melanie McDonald, a speech writer with the commander's action group here, uses a specially designed hydraulic chair and desk elevation system to help alleviate her back pain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFPN) -- A specially designed hydraulic chair and desk elevation system is putting Melanie McDonald in the right position for job success.

Mrs. McDonald, a speech writer for the commander’s action group here, suffers from degenerative disk disease. She recently began using the Plasma 2 System on a 30-day trial basis after months of trying to find a more comfortable way to do her mostly computer-based job duties. The system cost nearly $2,000.

“The way my work station was set up, the only way to do my job was to sit,” she said. “It was suggested that I take frequent breaks, but that only worked if I wasn’t under a tight deadline. I needed a setup where I could get my job done, but not have to sit all the time. With the Plasma 2 System, I can do that.”

The 42-year-old native of Perry, Ga., had surgery in November to repair a compressed nerve root and remove bone spurs and a ruptured disk in her spinal column; however, coming back to work presented a painful problem she could not combat -- sitting down.

“I really wanted to work, but when you’re in that mode where you’re constantly in pain, it’s a very depressing place to be,” she said. “Now, I can do my job without hurting all the time. I can now (go) home and have some part of me left instead of being in survival mode where I’m giving my best through the work day and it’s all I can do to get home and lay down and just try to recover for the next day.”

She calls the system a “life saver.”

At the touch of a button Mrs. McDonald can transition from sitting to standing with little physical effort, using the system’s vertical seat and desk adjustments while maintaining firm back and arm support.