The Terror Known as RSI

Ivan at FreelanceSwitch, a community web site for freelancers, has posted an article entitled “The Terror Known as RSI“:

I can tell your future! Are you holding a mouse while slouching in your nice office chair? Maybe you’re a coder. Resting our hands on the keyboard wrist pad, are we? Guess what, you’re going to be in a lot of pain pretty soon. Think neck, back and wrist pains… Have them? Good. I was right. You are suffering from repetitive strain injury – and you’re not alone. With more and more people working on their computers for far longer hours, RSI is becoming a big problem. Costing people their health and business billions of dollars.

The article provides a few simple tips to reduce the chances of repetitive strain injury. These tips are ones you’ve read here before, but bear repeating:

  • Take frequent breaks to give your hands a chance to recover from intense activity.
  • Don’t slouch! “Bad posture is one of the key factors for RSI development.”
  • Reduce mouse usage with keyboard shortcuts.
  • Keep your hands in a neutral position on the keyboard.
  • Execise! Eating right and keeping yourself in shape are important factors in avoiding RSI.

A broken computer you can replace. Lost files can be saved. You on the other hand aren’t replaceable. In this case, it’s all about you. No one will look after your health besides you. Loss of delicate movement in the hands can spell career death to a designer, illustrator, writer, developer.

The perils of RSI can be particularly significant for the self-employed. There’s no one to cover for you if you get hurt. And if you can’t work, you don’t get paid. It’s that simple.

Take care of your hands, freelancers!

Randy Rasa

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

One Comment:

  1. There is nothing more important than taking care of your hands.

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