RSI: Are you in the danger zone?

I just finished reading the great book; It’s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by Suparna and Jack. The book contains different questions that all helps to open your mind about RSI and ergonomics.

Here follows some questions that I think is important. I’ll comment them below. If you answer yes on some of them I suggest you go and buy the book right away!

Questions from the book (page 50 and 216)

  • Do your hands, arms, shoulders or neck hurt when you type?
  • Do you feel tingling, numbness, or cold fingers?
  • Do you find yourself stretching or massaging after a few hours of keyboard work?
  • Have you been woken by hand numbness when sleeping? Are you waking up in the morning with pains in hands or arms?
  • Is your workstation as comfortable as you would like?
  • Do you always look for the most efficient way to use the computer?
  • Do you get as much sleep as you would like?
  • Do you think about work in non-work time?

My comments and reflections

  • Long before I noticed that my arms hurt I had pains in my shoulders and lower back. I even went to therapists for migraine (caused by back problems) for several years. It wasn’t until two years ago, when I first visited a therapist that did a throughout examination on my hand problems, I could make the connection between back problems and RSI.
  • I’m hearing people talking about cold hands all the time. I didn’t have any issues with cold hands until I was far into RSI. At least I didn’t notice any coldness. If I had been as observant as now I probably would have. One of the reason for freezing  hands is that the muscles in the neck or shoulder doesn’t allow the blood to flow freely to the muscles in your arms.
  • When I first discovered pain in my wrist I massaged it with liniment. It eased the pain, but didn’t cure the problem.
  • I have never been woken up by pain, but I have had pain pretty much in the mornings.
  • I didn’t care about ergonomics until I had problems. It seems like it departments are the worst at ergonomics. Compare the tools on your it department with other apartments and you’ll probably see that other departments seems to have more ergonomic tools. I’m not sure why this is though… Ideas? Today I always try to think about ergonomics and I’m constantly improving my current setup…
  • I always try to find other solutions instead of doing repetitive tasks. If I have to, I try to use an automatic tool. And as a bonus; instead of doing repetitive tasks manually, I’m getting a repository with tools and techniques for automating it. Increasing quality and reducing time and stress!
  • Some years ago I slept 4-6 hours per night. I always felt tired and sick when I woke up. Today I sleep 7-8 hours per night and it feels great when I wake up. Being well-rested also helps increase concentration at work.
  • I used to spend almost all my wake time thinking about work. Today I think about my work when I’m at work and other things when I’m not at work. What’s funny to notice is that it’s easier to focus on solving problems at work when I have had a break at it.

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Ola

Mångsysslande doer & klätterentusiast. Jag driver varumärket Sten & bloggen Klätterbilder. Jag konsultar inom IT & Marknadsföring samt undervisar inom webb på Folkuniversitetet. Jag älskar att fota. /// Doer & climbing enthusiast. I run the climbing brand Sten & the blog Klätterbilder. Consulting with IT & marketing & teaching at Folkuniversitetet. I love to take pictures.