ec2-18-212-120-195.compute-1.amazonaws.com | ToothyWiki | RecentChanges | Login | Webcomic Repetitive Strain Injury. Sometimes used as a catchall term for computing-related injuries. AlexChurchill has suffered from "tenosynivitis", an RSI relating to inflammation of the tendons. [other ToothyWikizens] have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you use a computer regularly (particularly for large amounts of time, eg a fulltime job), then don't think of computing-related injuries as things that happen to other people. And don't think you can just shrug off low-level pain, either: it can progress into moderate non-stop pain rising to severe pain any time you move your hands in only a week.
There are a number of straightforward things one can do to significantly reduce the stress caused by typing (and mousing, which is also significant - AC suffers the most pain in his mouse-scroll-wheel finger).
Keeping your wrists in a "neutral" position: ie hands, wrists and arms all in a straight line. One significant aid in this is moving to a natural (split) keyboard, which at least AlexChurchill, DouglasReay and ColinT have found helpful.
Having a wrist rest for use during pauses between typing, and/or a mouse mat with integrated wrist rest
Not resting wrists on the wrist rest while actually typing - you should hold them above the keyboard, forearms parallel with the ground
JW switched to Dvorak a year ago, and didn't find it to help much (although he does feel refreshingly more geeky, and it was all worth it for the time that IT couldn't get past the screensaver lock because they couldn't type the admin password on the Qwerty-mapped-to-Dvorak keyboard.) He's ordered an [UberFancyKeyboard] (through work, of course), and will give a full report once it arrives.
Alternatives to a keyboard for entering text, such as RemoteKeys (lets you enter hundreds of predefined strings with a single click - or a single mouseover, with AutoClick?) or Dasher (lets you enter freeform text by waving your mouse cursor at the moving letters - with practice AlexChurchill got up to about 40wpm with it, IIRC).
Apparently someone seems to have felt that RSI doesn't sound cool enough or something, as it has now been renamed OOS (occupational overuse syndrome). Yet another foresign of the apocalypse perhaps?
When reading about RSIAwarenessWeek, I discovered surprising amounts of people saying "RSI is too specific. You should really call them Upper Limb Disorders"... --AlexChurchill
Technically accurate though - RSI refers specifically to a repeated motion (of the wrist). And really, though the most obvious one, it's not the only problem associated with sitting at a desk all day typing. So I expect health professionals will baulk at using a specific term in a general way, and eveyrone else will go on doing it. --Vitenka
Jenn was told it should be called forearm overuse disorder, so as not to aggravate employers unnecessarily. She now has a Maltron lefthanded keyboard. -- ColinT.
She now has the UberFancyKeyboard? mentioned above, too. But it was at work, so we couldn't have a go on it. :( --M-A
(PeterTaylor) That's a stupid name. Firstly, it's the fingers and wrist which are overused. Secondly, it implies the pain is restricted to the forearms, which isn't true.
IIRC, RSI (standing for RepetitiveStrainInjury?) can apply to any part of the body that is injured through repetitive actions. For instance, your ankle if you listen to music all day and tap your foot to it. However, CarpalTunnelSyndrome? is specific to the wrists. --Admiral
(PeterTaylor) The carpal tunnel is in the wrists, yes. I was never given a term for the RSI problems I had, so it's possible I didn't have CTS, and probable that I had more than CTS. Judging by the location of the pain, there seemed to be inflammation around the tendons for the length of my forearms, and there were about three significant pain sites in my upper arms. That's the main point I wanted to make.