I was a long term chronic sufferer of Repetitive Strain Injury. After struggling with this debilitating condition for some 5 years I was given medical retirement – a scary step. Fortunately, with being removed from the main cause (overuse of computers and associated technologies) – working towards understanding the causes and possible solutions, together with medical help, exercises and the Alexander Technique I gradually recovered. Today although virtually totally recovered I work with cautious awareness of good practice when using technology.
Against this background I was pleased to be asked to talk at the RSI Action AGM. My title: “Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) – A Contemporary Crisis – How to escape it or cure it”. My main aim was to provide HOPE to sufferers – HOPE that there are routes to recovery. So I set out to equip and encourage those attending to understand more of our complex bodies and strive towards healing. I ended my presentation with a summary of the main points (which could be useful to you):
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR RSI PREVENTION
1. DON’T THINK “it will never happen to me”
It could if you don’t adopt preventative measures!
2. BALANCE – aim to balance work, play; rest, exercise and static activities
3. PLAN your work so that one activity isn’t performed for extended periods
4. DEVELOP a ‘free’ posture including balance and movement!
our bodies are not designed to remain static for long periods of time.
5. WORK in a healthy environment – ergonomic chair, desk, mouse, keyboard, screen
7. BREAKS Don’t skip lunch breaks!
Install break monitoring software (RSIGUARD) for breaks and exercises
8. SPEECH RECOGNITION SOFTWARE – use if you are a frequent computer user and especially if your hands, arms or neck are painful.
9. KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS – use these to minimise mouse use
10. STOP ON AMBER – before pain stops you.
There’s a lot more information in my book “RSI – How to avoid it and what to do if you’ve got it”.
Strive to be healthy,