Being based out of a music town like Austin, Texas, we here at Human Solution are a pretty musical bunch. In fact, we’re nearing the end of Music Friday as I write, where we pick a theme and each person in the office plays a song in rotation. Tomorrow is a major holiday here in Austin, and for music lovers everywhere; it’s Record Store Day! A day when we celebrate actual physical record stores – ask your parents about these ancient artifacts of a lost civilization, kids – and of music as an actual, tangible thing.
Austin, though, is a paradise for lovers of independent records stores. From our flagship Waterloo Records, to hidden gems like Trailer Space Records, to my personal favorite End of an Ear, there are plenty of places at which to celebrate any day of the year. Tomorrow, though, some of us will be lining up early to get a shot at all of the exclusive releases (the White Stripes are finally releasing Get Behind Me Satan on vinyl!) and spending all day hopping from store to store. Some of us will be spending hours leaned over racks and racks of records looking for hidden treasure (like last year, when I finally found my white whale, a pristine copy of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti).
You might not think it, but this can get tiring! Record store racks aren’t the most ergonomic things in the world. It doesn’t help that you start the day waiting in line for an hour for the doors to open so you'll have the best shot at getting that limited edition picture disc 10” they only made five copies of that will be going for $500 on eBay five minutes later. And hitting up every store in Austin and going through bin after bin, including those dollar bins they shove on the floor under the racks, means hours on your feet hunched over.
So here are a couple of tips from someone who spends way too much time in these places. Camping out at 6 am to be the first in the door? Bring a Focal Mogo Stool! Being able to perch while waiting in line will help save your back and leg strength for serious perusing later on, and the Mogo is easy to fold away and store once it’s time to get through the doors and fight your way to the records you have your eye on. Don’t have a Mogo? Well, get one for next year! For fellow Austinites, it will also serve you well during any of the 547 music festivals we have here during any given year.
Most importantly, be sure to change your position often. This is basic ergonomics, no matter what the situation. Don’t hunch over the same level racks for an hour. Take turns going from the eye level bins to the clearance racks underneath. Take some time to walk around or stretch between bouts of rummaging through records. That obscure jazz 78 will still be there waiting for you when you go back.
Whether you’re sitting in an office chair all day or record shopping, you always want to listen to what your body is telling you. If something is causing discomfort, change your position to one more comfortable. It’s pretty simple. I hope to see you tomorrow! Unless you’re grabbing the last Run the Jewels 10”, because then you’re my mortal enemy.
Learn more about applying ergonomics into all aspects of your day at TheHumanSolution.com