Repetitive strain injury – even the term itself is so overused that many people tend to underestimate the pain of the condition. Actually though, when muscles, joints, soft tissues and tendons are subjected to the same repetitive movements over long periods of time, the result can be debilitating pain and, in extreme cases, even permanent disability.
Although any kind of repeated motion can cause repetitive strain injury, or RSI as it is known for short. Prolonged computer use is one of the main causes of the condition, so here are a few tips to help keep you pain free and fully functioning.
1. Use a height-adjustable chair and make sure that when you are sitting up straight your eyes are in line with the center of your computer screen.
2. Don’t slouch. Your head, neck and shoulders should all be in a straight line.
3. When you are working, keep your upper arms by your sides, your elbows bent at a 90° angle and your forearms parallel with your thighs. Ensure that your neck, back and wrists are all supported, and try to keep all your muscles relaxed.
4. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Don’t cross your legs at the knees or ankles.
5. Avoid staying in the same position for long periods of time.
6. Take regular breaks to get up and walk around.
7. Invest in a spare mouse that is a different design than your usual one and alternate between the two.