RSI | Repetitive Strain Injury | How to Prevent

What is RSI ?

In modern times, work is more than just worship. We work for countless hours trying to cope up with the speed and the advancement pace of time and needs. Along the way, do we care enough about ergonomic comforts? For people like me, bloggers, webmasters, computer engineers, programmers, we site in the same position for several hours. We keep our fingers and hands confined to the real estate of our keyboard typing something. Over time, all this may cause us Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI which is kind of nervous and musculoskeletal injuries resulting from our lifestyle activities involving repetitive stress to our body parts in a similar fashion. There are several causative daily lifestyle activities which could invoke such injuries like wrong tv watching position, hours of sms’ing, prolonged holding of mobile phone between neck and shoulder, etc. Since this is a blog about tech and computer stuff, we’ll focus in the same niche in this article on RSI. Hours of daily computer typing could also cause RSI if your keyboard is not built with ergonomic comforts in mind and if you do not follow best practices. Worldwide, RSI causes damage of billions of dollars to both the employers as well as employees in a year. keeping in view the importance of the concerned topic, it’s time you should start focusing on your ergonomic comforts to avoid Repetitive Strain Injuries. Given below are few of the important tips and points you should take care of if you work on computer for longer hours daily. We’ve also included related images, click on them to view them in large size.

How to Prevent RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury

  • Do not buy a cheap keyboard. People, esp employers, often neglect the quality of keyboard which could cause more damage in long terms. If as employer, you want your employees to put their best, make sure you’re buying the right equipment. Good quality keyboards are built with ergonomic comforts in priority. The keys are very soft to press. The placement of keys and the size of keyboard should be comfortable enough to ensure smooth typing experience. Hence, buy the right kind of keyboard. Do not compromise with comfort. This’ll be rewarding in long term, your employees will be able to work more in the same time.
  • Not only keyboards, but the mouse should also be of size and shape such that it could not cause you and strain over prolonged use.
  • Using other computer peripherals or ergonomic accessories like trackpad instead of mouse, or using roller mouse, joystick, inertial mouse which do not require a surface to operate. etc can be used in addition to our regular accessories which could relieve our fingers, wrists, hands more.
  • Since we’re working with technology, why not use technological applications to help us with doing certain repetitive tasks like using macro recorder for recording repetitve keystrokes and mouse actions and then playing the same to get our job done automatically if applicable(Suppose, for whatever reason, you have to press backspace then spacebar and then 0 key often, you can just record one complete sequence by doing the task yourself. Now whenever you’ve to do the same task again, you can just play the recorded sequence and the keypress are executed automatically. There are several such macro recorder softwares for free or for some bucks available. Just search for it on Google and download the one you find most useful). Using softwares like speech recognition applications if they could help. You should also use break timer kind of utilities which remind you to take breaks after certain fixed amount of time.
  • If you do gaming, use gaming keyboards and mouse. These keyboards can be programmed so that certain repetitive keypress can be executed by pressing just one keys.
  • Take short breaks, relax your fingers after typing continuously. Relaxation of fingers and hands are necessary if you indulge in continuous typing.
  • Maintain proper viewing distance and angle from the computer screen. While there are definitions made on about what should be the minimum distance from screen, what should be the viewing angle, how should you position your back. BUT we advise you to just follow what comforts you the best, what gives you a relaxed and steady mood. No position is absolute because position should be changed once in a while to avoid RSI.
  • If you’ve high-resolution i.e. Full HD resolution monitor, make sure the text-display is comfortable because usually on 1080p resolution, the text becomes too small and this causes extra stress on our eyes. Hence it is recommended to increase the size of text on your computer to a more comfortable level.
  • Close your eyes and cover your eyes with hands to feel the darkness after working on computer for hours. While working on computer, remind yourself to blink your eyes. Blinking of eyes is usually involuntary process but you should blink your eyes sometimes manually to give extra relief when needed.
  • Your computer chair should also be comfortable because people often complain about back and neck pain. The back support of your chair should be upright or slightly slanted. There should be projected lumbar support for lower back preferentially.
  • Stand up if you’ve been sitting in the same position for hours. Even while sitting, do change your position and adjust your posture accordingly. Sometimes, many people are so engrossed in their work that they forget about their sitting posture and remain in sustained position for a very long duration which could cause major pain, injury and stress later. So, give due care on your sitting posture.
  • Do light exercise, relax and relieve yourself in the break.
  • If you’re employer, give ergonomic training to your employees.

These are some of the important and commonly known tips to prevent RSI but most often, we neglect them. Because of our negligence, we develop pain and abnormal postures in our body, we even feel less desire to work and we get tired easily which affects our output overall. Hence, I’d like to appeal to all my dear readers, start taking care of your ergonomic comforts and make your workstation aptly suitable keeping this concern in mind.

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