Not Your Regular Blog Tips

This post is intended for those of you who have signed up to provide the world with a post every day. For the year. First, just let me ask: What were you thinking? (My answer is over here.)

Since you’ve signed up for the ultramarathon of blogging, I wanted to share with you some of the things I have learned from years of sitting at a computer keyboard. Therefore, today’s post is about avoiding repetitive stress injuries. It falls into the category of “Doing as I say, not as I do.” Or, more gently, “Here, learn from my mistakes.”

Here are a set of three videos that I recently recorded about repetitive stress injuries, with an emphasis on preventing them. I am not a health professional; these are based on my own experience as a computer worker for the last 22 years. I said several times in the videos, but I will reiterate it here… if you need professional advice, please seek it sooner rather than later. It is much easier to prevent than to treat.

Part 1: Introduction


Key points

  • RSI can impact your entire body
  • It is difficult to treat
  • It is the #1 cause of workplace injuries (so “they” tell me)

Part 2: Ergonomics


Key points

  • Pay attention to keyboard and mouse height, as well as the monitor
  • Consider alternate input devices such as
    • Ergonomic or split keyboards
    • Tablets (with or without pen inputs)
    • I forgot about track balls and the like
  • Take advantage of built in accessibility software and learn voice commands. Also, that way you can do Scotty’s joke from Star Trek 4. If you happen to be old enough to remember that one.

Part 3: Better Habits


Key points

  • Take frequent breaks
  • Do your stretches!
  • Check your posture and consider exercise to improve it
  • Eat better to reduce inflammation in your tissues
  • Treat your body as though you are pursuing an athletic task, because you are!

I find I neglected to mention my most obvious strategy: Try out other forms of media. Give YouTube a whirl. Scan a drawing. Try out cartooning. Or puppet shows. Make one or two posts a week that are mainly photos. Lateral thinking is key here… But only if it reduces your keyboard time. Good luck! (14/362)

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