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#2085179 - 05/19/13 12:10 PM Sitting While Tuning  
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DavidWB Offline
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Grand Junction CO
Twice recently I've read about the deleterious result of sitting for extended periods of time. It has been an eyeopener for me. For many, extended sitting occurs while watching TV. For me it's sitting at my computer and while tuning. Personally, I'm taking this to heart and am determined to make a habit of at least standing very briefly several times each hour, including during tuning.

Here's the information that got my attention and has motivated me:

Sitting calculated to be worse than smoking

Minute for minute, sitting inactive in a chair takes more off your lifespan than smoking tobacco cigarette. Better get up ned move around while you watch TV, according to a study conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia, in which they tabulated and studied TV habits of more than 11,000 people. They controlled for exercise level, smoking and other things that would skew the results.

They found that for every hour spent watching TV, life expectancy was reduced by almost 22 minutes. On the other hand, their calculations showed that smoking a single cigarette reduced life expectancy by only 11 minutes.

The researchers noted that it is prolonged sitting that causes the problem. Their suggestion is to get up frequently or to watch TV while standing from time to time. As mentioned, the researchers factored out the level of physical activity in making their calculations. That means that people of high physical activity who spend a lot of time on the couch are just as vulnerable to lifespan reduction as inactive couch potatoes.


This link is about the research of Dr. Joan Vernikos, a former NASA scientist, whose book title makes the point sharply: Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. Her advice is surprisingly simple and easy to do.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fi...m_content=art1&utm_campaign=20130503

David Bauguess


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#2085181 - 05/19/13 12:19 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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BDB Offline
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So why are you concerned about tuning? It would seem that playing the piano is more of a problem than tuning them.

Incidentally, if you are a piano professional, the rules of the board is that you should state that in a signature on your messages. There is a notice to professionals to that effect in the Piano Forum.


Semipro Tech
#2085187 - 05/19/13 12:32 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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IMO, sitting with good posture is probably better than standing half bent over the piano. I do both.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2085211 - 05/19/13 01:23 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: BDB]  
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DavidWB Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB
So why are you concerned about tuning? It would seem that playing the piano is more of a problem than tuning them.

Incidentally, if you are a piano professional, the rules of the board is that you should state that in a signature on your messages. There is a notice to professionals to that effect in the Piano Forum.


My concern is with sitting for extended periods of time. For me, that includes tuning. Of course, it could include playing. I'm particularly interested in health and believe this information is significant, and I thought it might be of interest to some others who sit a lot while servicing pianos.

I've been a professional piano technician for 32 years.

David Bauguess, RPT


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#2085213 - 05/19/13 01:30 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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If you tune taller upright pianos then you have to stand up. Unless you have 6 ft long arms. I personally have never seen a tuner with arms that long.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
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#2085235 - 05/19/13 02:02 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]  
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Olek Offline
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Originally Posted by Nash. Piano Rescue
If you tune taller upright pianos then you have to stand up. Unless you have 6 ft long arms. I personally have never seen a tuner with arms that long.


All depends of the torque, I have been trained to tune even large ones sitting, but the position is not so evident to catch, then to keep, because the blood does not go as well up toward the hand.

If the pins are very tight anyway then it is difficult.

If not the weight of the body can be used.

It is better to be sitting assuming the back can stay "straight" (that point is not evident.

Laying on the upright the back is twisted plus get stress, certainly not good for us.

Last edited by Olek; 05/19/13 02:03 PM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2085249 - 05/19/13 03:00 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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I was never trained to sit while tuning. There has never even been a time when I tried tuning while sitting.

When sitting it is impossible to engage any of the hip or leg muscle groups to stabilize the body when tuning.

One is therefore relying upon arm and shoulder muscle strength only to move the resistance.

I can imagine this is where a lot of the repetitive strain injuries in the arm and shoulder come from.

Further, weak or problematic lower back muscle groups (lumbar group) are mostly due to weak abdominals. Strengthen the abdominals and a lot of lower back problems disappear over time



Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2085269 - 05/19/13 03:26 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
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DavidWB Offline
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Grand Junction CO
Interesting, Dan. You're obviously well beyond what I'm thinking. Would you provide some detail on your body position/posture in relation to very short verticals and grands, e.g. how straight your spine is; are you "hinging" at low spine?; do you lower yourself by spreading your legs wide?

Just before reading your post, I watched The Ted Talk by Eric Goodman (last video on this page), which seems very relevant:

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/02/15/foundation-training.aspx

You've got me intrigued that tuning all pianos while standing might be the best goal to strive for.

Thanks,

David Bauguess, RPT

Last edited by DavidWB; 05/19/13 03:36 PM.

David Bauguess
#2085270 - 05/19/13 03:27 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Olek Offline
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France
Oh no, Dan, the legs are used, a little the same as when one play the piano.

If not there is a lot of damage indeed.

The posture anyway is strange, you need to raise the ankle for a good transmission and to keep the back straight.

I rarely do so, because I rarely tune a lot of vertical pianos, but I would if necessary. My back pain when tuning too much pianos standing are more in the upper part of the back, due to an old motorcycle problem.


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2085466 - 05/19/13 11:24 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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I tune all verticals standing and all grands sitting. I would tune grands standing if I thought it was good for my back but all literature I have read states that standing and performing physical acts at odd angles puts odd loads on the trunk and can cause more problems than it s worth.

Personally, I love tuning verticals for this reason and feel like I have gotten some form of exorcize and I burn more calories.

#2085492 - 05/20/13 12:01 AM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Much depends on the height and body proportions of the tuner.

Sitting or standing, tuning is a whole body thing and position of the feet is important. A good sitting posture for any instrument is one where the person can stand up at any given moment without having to move their feet.

A variety of postures is helpful.

I wonder what the pundits will be saying next week.

There is an old woodcut that turns up from time to time showing a short frock coated man stretching up to tune a tall giraffe piano with a T hammer.
The tuner in Norman Rockwells' famous painting is short enough to tune a grand standing up. I'm too tall but I will stand up for the highest few notes rather than move a heavy piano bench around.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


#2085613 - 05/20/13 07:52 AM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Joined: May 2012
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Rochester MN
It seems to me that this is a warning about the detrimental effects of being in a seated position for extended periods. Proper posture, of course, is very important in all activities and not just tuning. The caution is circulatory, not osteopathic or neurologic.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2085699 - 05/20/13 11:17 AM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Oh sit!

#2085764 - 05/20/13 01:15 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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I find I hear what I'm supposed to be hearing much better if I sit, rather than stand.


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
#2085841 - 05/20/13 03:40 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Life expectancy is reduced by 1 minute for every minute spent existing.


Morgan Kelsey
http://www.morgankelsey.com/music/
PTG Associate Member
#2085986 - 05/20/13 08:45 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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I have often wondered about this very subject and a few times almost started a thread "sitting vs. standing." The technician I learned from almost always stood, but I almost always sit.

Like rxd pointed out, I think it has a lot to do with the height of the tuner. I'm a little over 6 feet, so standing and tuning a spinet feels very awkward and difficult for me. A full sized upright is different, but I frankly do very few of those in my service area. But same thing with grands - I feel much more balanced and flexible in a sitting position. I find my neck gets stiff from looking down so much when I stand and tune. I stand only for an occasional change in posture, or on the treble end of some uprights to get a better angle on the tuning pin.

Last edited by BenP; 05/20/13 08:46 PM.

Ben Patterson, RPT
South Jersey Piano Service, LLC
www.sjpianoservice.com
#2085999 - 05/20/13 09:07 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: nagrom]  
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David Jenson Offline
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Originally Posted by nagrom
Life expectancy is reduced by 1 minute for every minute spent existing.
THAT ... is profound in the way that I can appreciate profoundity!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#2086002 - 05/20/13 09:09 PM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Dave B Offline
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It hurts my back to stand while tuning,and I'm only 6'.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#2086203 - 05/21/13 10:36 AM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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I just googled Normal Rockwell piano tuner (images) to refresh my memory.
He looks to be about 5' nuthin'.
Judging by all the stuff sticking out his back pockets and the still fairly sharp creases in his trousers (a sure sign of storeboughten goods), I don't think he ever sat down.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


#2086213 - 05/21/13 10:49 AM Re: Sitting While Tuning [Re: DavidWB]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Originally Posted by DavidWB
Interesting, Dan. You're obviously well beyond what I'm thinking. Would you provide some detail on your body position/posture in relation to very short verticals and grands, e.g. how straight your spine is; are you "hinging" at low spine?; do you lower yourself by spreading your legs wide?
Just before reading your post, I watched The Ted Talk by Eric Goodman (last video on this page), which seems very relevant:
http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/02/15/foundation-training.aspx
You've got me intrigued that tuning all pianos while standing might be the best goal to strive for.
Thanks,
David Bauguess, RPT


Hi David,

Sorry for the late reply, we just went through a holiday weekend here.

I spread my legs apart to get to a good height for tuning grand’s. This way there is very little bending of the back at the waistline. For small uprights I bend directly at the waist while keeping my back a straight line. Of course for tall uprights there is no need to bend much at any time.

Also because piano tuning is such a sedentary trade, I work out regularly to keep the mind and body in shape and muscle groups strong. This type of “off-court training” leaves little room for repetitive strain injuries.

I will have a look at the TED Talk video.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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