How to prevent RSI

How to prevent RSI
14th April 2016  •  No comments yet  •  Posted in RSI

Do you experience pain when using your mouse and keyboard?  I certainly used to. Clicking and typing for hours on end can take its toll, so it’s extremely important that you take the necessary measures for the prevention of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).

Ergonomic Solutions – are you sitting comfortably?

The theory behind this is that if your workstation is designed ergonomically, then the pain/fatigue experienced when using your mouse and keyboard should gradually go away.  At work, school and college we are constantly being told how to improve our posture when we’re at our desks, but not all of us recognise how crucial it is when it comes to our health.  You need to have your seat at the right height, with your feet firmly planted on the floor or a footrest.  Relax those shoulders and keep all of your body parts at right angles.  Sounds simple right?  However it is difficult to do this by yourself.  You need a friend or colleague to view the way you work and give you the necessary feedback.

Correct posture for your workstation

Using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse also helped me massively.  There I was, full of scepticism, about to try out my new equipment.  Could something as simple as changing my mouse and keyboard really get rid of the pain I had been experiencing? Ideally, our hands should be working in the handshake position (between 45 degrees and vertical) rather than the normal horizontal position.  By working in this position the hand is more relaxed, reducing strain in the process.

Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Split Keyboard

Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Split Keyboard

I was advised to start using a split ergonomic keyboard, where the keyboard is split into a left side and a right side.  The one I chose was the Goldtouch keyboard.  These keyboards are designed so that your fingers curl along their natural arc to hit the keys, making sure there’s no awkward stretching when you’re trying to reach that particular key.

DXT2 Vertical Ergonomic Mouse

DXT2 Vertical Ergonomic Mouse

There’s also a large range of vertically designed mice that allow you to work in a more natural position.  One of the main things I discovered about this type of mouse was that you don’t need to twist your forearm, which I believe to be a major cause of RSI.  When choosing an appropriate ergonomic mouse, the ones that I found most useful to look at were the DTX2 Mouse, the Evoluent range and the AirObic range.

No More Mouse Clicking

Software solutions are available which, by using ‘dwell-click’ technology, effectively reduce or remove the need to click with your mouse at all.  When you position your mouse at a particular location for longer than a fraction of a second (time lapse can be adjusted to suit the user), the mouse automatically performs a left click or double click, whichever you have instructed it to do. A software program you should look at is the Nib Click-Less Software and there’s a fully working trial version available for 30 days as a download which, when you are ready to purchase, is available for £54.00+VAT.  The ideal solution would involve all of the above, but if you’re sceptical like I was, then start off by trying out one of the methods and seeing if there are any noticeable improvements.

The RSI Shop has all of these products available; ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic mice and input reduction software.  I hope that you feel more aware of the different options available and you aren’t still searching ‘how to prevent RSI’ in your search engine.  Good luck and thanks for reading!

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