Sunday, February 1, 2009

Treating RSI

One of the most critical health issues around programming is RSI. If not properly addressed, it can end your career. For a while I was quite concerned that it would end mine.

The problem with RSI is it seems the causes are each subtly different, and so it responds differently to various treatments.

Here then is my personal set of treatments. If you're feeling any discomfort at all, don't wait, change your set-up immediately.

  • See a doctor immediately. I eventually got a doctor to drain the cyst in my wrist, drastically reducing the discomfort.
  • Take breaks of all kinds. Hourly breaks for 5 minutes. Lunch breaks. Weekends off. Long computerless vacations.
  • Sleep. Highly underrated treatment. Directly proportional to comfort.
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and even fingerless gloves in order to keep the hands warm while working. Also very underrated.
  • Ice inflamed areas after work.
  • Kinesis Advantage keyboard. Worth more to me than the entire computer itself.
  • Ergonomic mouse. Try to never use it. Especially the wheel.
  • Turn up the thermostat in your computer room. Never program in the cold.
  • Sleep. Some more.

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