Let me start by introducing you to Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher working in the USA. Imogen has written a great article on how not to use a computer mouse (*).
In it she comes up with a fantastic list of experiments to try out while you are sat at your computer:-
1. How tightly are you holding the mouse? How much is necessary? Can you hold it a little less tightly? (or a lot less?)
2. How much pressure are you using to click the mouse? Can you use less?
3. Do you keep holding the mouse even when you’re not using it…?
I recommend everyone has a go at these experiments.
Once you’ve found out how good they are, DON’T STOP THERE.
You see, there’s a wonderful principle behind this idea. If you like, it’s a tool that you can use for lots and lots of different jobs. This tool has two prongs, or questions, to be used together:-
‘How much force am I using to do this?’
‘How much force do I really need?’
Your aim is to use the minimum of force you can get away with, while still achieving your aim.
Any good Alexander teacher will point out how to use less force in the activity for that lesson. But why wait for the teacher? You’re an intelligent, curious person or you wouldn’t still be reading. You don’t need the teacher to point out every single activity where you could apply less force.
You can find your own tasks to experiment with. How little effort does it take to lift this cup of tea? How lightly can I press down less on this knife and still chop this carrot? Can I pull this door handle without straining?
So here’s my challenge for this week: how many different tasks can you find? And how far you can cut down on the force you are using?
(*) Read the whole of Imogen’s article here:-