Celebrate Freedom From RSI Pain

With the U.S. Independence Day weekend pending, Emily at Ergonomic Resources writes about “Enjoying Ergonomic Freedom with a Split Keyboard”:

It’s almost the 4th of July, and we’re all thinking about freedom {and hamburgers and hotdogs and swimming}. Anyway, this Independence Day why not treat yourself to a little freedom? You already have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but do you have ergonomic freedom?

Ergonomic freedom may seem a silly idea, but it just means the ability to adjust your equipment to your own needs and wants so that you can work more productively and with less strain.

A built-in, centered mouse can be crucial in achieving an ideal typing posture and maintaining better typing habits. The benefit to a split keyboard is that you can adjust it- you can either split the two halves or keep them together or change it up as you want. Adjustability is never a bad thing. [read more]

Though Emily’s focus on a “split” keyboard, may or may not be your thing (I’ve never used one, so can’t comment), the sentiment — freedom from pain — rings true.

FreedomWhat other steps might we take in that direction?

  • Rest: Take advantage of the long weekend, and the extra day off work, to rest your body. That doesn’t mean doing nothing, but don’t perform activities that stress the limbs that bear the brunt of your work-day strain. For many of us, that would mean resting the hands, wrists, and arms by minimizing such things as computer use, video gaming, or using power tools.
  • Exercise: As much as we need to rest the parts of our bodies that take a beating, it can be of great help to work out the parts that are little-used. Running, cycling, even a long walk can do wonders to get the heart rate up and refresh our spirits, even as the activity tires our bodies. A little sweat is a good thing (and a hot shower feels so nice after a hard workout)!
  • Research ergonomic aids: Maybe Emily’s split keyboard is just the trick, or perhaps such things as ergonomic mice, ergonomic chairs, wrist braces, hand exercisers, or other products could do you some good. Research the options, read some reviews, and try products out at a local store if you can (or use an online retailer with a sensible return policy).
  • Reduce Stress: Consider other sources of stress in your life that may be contributing to your pain. Perhaps spending some time with loved ones, an intimate evening with someone special, or simply dealing with long-delayed problems can make a significant difference in your life. After all, emotional stress can sometimes manifest itself as physical pain.

Hope you have a great weekend, and can take some positive steps towards freedom form RSI pain!

Randy Rasa

Randy is an engineer/programmer/web designer who has suffered from repetitive strain injury off and on for over a decade.

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