10/05/2008

Did You Know: RSI

This is a term my dad warns me about all the time & I think all computer users *yeah thats's what you are, don't deny it!* should be aware of...

Taken from Wiki: What is RSI? Short for Repetitive Strain Injury, also called cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), occupational overuse syndrome, or work related upper limb disorder (WRULD), is any of a loose group of conditions resulting from overuse of a tool, such as a computer keyboard or musical instrument or other activity that requires repeated movements. It is a syndrome that affects muscles, tendons and nerves in the hands, arms and upper back. The medically accepted condition in which it occurs is when muscles in these areas are kept tense for very long periods of time, due to poor posture and/or repetitive motions.
It is most common among assembly line workers, computer workers, store checkout clerks, and professional musicians. Good posture,ergonomics and limiting time in stressful working conditions can help prevent or halt the progress of the disorder. Stretches, strengthening exercises, and biofeedback training to reduce neck and shoulder muscle tension can help heal existing disorders.
Several important points taken from here:

  • Posture. No one posture is perfect. You do not have to be "military" but getting comfortable is essential. Footrests help, (or a book or lunch pail or anything handy to rest your feet up a bit), as do cushions if your chair is not providing adequate support. The most important rule is to avoid prolonged positions. Shake your hands and shoulders now and then. Keep lose.

  • Eyes. After good lighting and avoiding glare, the most important eye consideration is to look away from the screen occasionally. It really helps. Also, don't forget to blink. Blinking moistens the eyes to prevent burning from dryness.

  • Warm up. Just as an athlete prepares for the game by stretching and loosening the joints and muscles to prevent injury and enhance performance, you too should prepare for a marathon session surfing the Net. Do some shoulder rolls, neck stretches, wrist wiggles and leg stretches before you even log in. Prevention is better than repair.

  • Breaks. If you hold any part of you in one position for longer than an hour, you set your self up for stiff joints, achy muscles, tendon fatigue and ligament weakness; not to mention decreased efficiency and diminished concentration. If you are focused on what you are doing, you can loose track of time unless you purposely schedule breaks. Have the computer clock on screen, or steal the oven timer out of your kitchen, or set the alarm on your watch, or somehow let yourself know about the passage of time. Then, at least once an hour, (every half hour would be better), get right up off your seat and walk around, stretch, yawn, wiggle, breath, get the blood flowing and stimulate the joints. It is worth the time and trouble as you will feel better, work sharper and get more done. Take advantage of un-scheduled "downtime". Instead of staring at the little hour-glass and wishing it would go faster, do something beneficial for your body.

  • If you already have mechanical body problems, such as neck arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome, it is necessary to take breaks more frequently; on the order of three or four mini-breaks per hour. Preventing a flair-up is far superior to irritating these disorders.

    So while being online is fun & sometimes a useful hobby, we must learn how to take care of ourselves & moderate our time online. I hope this little bit will help us all :)

    1 comment:

    figolim said...

    yaya...i knew wat is RSI,i got search some info bout it b4!