A List of RSI Prevention Tips

Recently, kal from MyBodyZone wrote an article entitled “14 Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Prevention Tips”. Here’s the list:

  1. Take periodic breaks
  2. Take the time to compose your thoughts before working, to avoid unnecessary typing
  3. Optimize your workstation
  4. Watch your posture
  5. Use proper typing technique
  6. Pace yourself
  7. Perform stretching exercises
  8. Stretch frequently while working
  9. If it hurts, stop!
  10. Limit mouse usage
  11. Don’t strain for hard-to-reach key combinations
  12. Use two hand for keyboard combinations
  13. Watch out for writer’s cramp when using a pen
  14. Rest your elbows and wrists when not typing

It’s a good list. The tips, while familiar, are worth being reminded of. Be sure to read the full article, as kal goes into more detail for most of the tips.

I’d add two tips to the list: Use break-reminder software. Two, don’t ignore the program when it prompts you to take a break! (This is something I have problems with.)

Do you have any additional tips for RSI prevention?

Randy Rasa

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


  1. Hi, I really think you should add as #1 to go and see a doctor…

    I would also like to add a warning about stretching since I think that to much stretching made my problems worse. Now I do more strengthening exercises and that seems better (for me).


  2. >Two, don’t ignore the program when it prompts you to take a >break! (This is something I have problems with.)

    One of the settings on Workrave is the ability to cancel breaks or not. When the cancel button was there I always cancelled. Works much better when you haven’t got the option to cancel.


  3. Thanks for the Workrave tip, John. I’d forgotten that was an option. I’m trying that for now.

    If only it didn’t bug you at the most inopportune time!

  4. Just to let you know that I have added a new yoga video that demonstrates some techniques to prevent yoga practice from harming the wrists and in fact should help make the wrists more open.


  5. 10 is not accepted by teachers

  6. Here’re a few more ideas:

    Strengthen your back and the back of your neck. This will allow you to sit and stand upright and hold your shoulders back and your head over your body (rather than letting it move in front of your body where it causes stress & symptoms.)

    Lift your chest.

    Look down with your eyes, rather than your head.

    Keep your elbow close to your waist and your wrist straight.

    Make corrections often. It takes a while for new positions and movements to become habit.

    Do stretch frequently in the opposite direction of the one you are usually in. And, yes, it is possible to ‘over-stretch’, especially hands.

    Listen to your body. Pay attention to what it’s telling you. When do your symptoms start? What are you doing? How could you do it differently? Sometimes you have to be creative.

  7. I have published an article with tips and guidelines on how I have succesfully battled RSI myself. Read it for both relief and prevention.

  8. Do a chin tuck and keep your shoulders back.

    Here’s an explanation: http://www.neckexercises.net/neck-exercises/neck-exercises-sitting-chin-tucks-explained.

    Good tips otherwise!

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