Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An Important Article for Bloggers - How to Avoid Repetitive Strain Injury

How to avoid repetitive strain injury is a subject dear to my heart as my body has finally begun to protest the hours that have gone into my 2000 post blogging career.

My left arm/elbow is a wee bit of a disaster although I'm working on a cure passed down to me by my mother, my grandmother and all those who went before ... that being, give it a while and see if it goes away on its own.

My work station lacks credibility in terms of ergonomic safety. I know it but you know how it is ... one day I'll organise myself.

I type on a laptop whose keyboard had a little too much red wine one particularly dark and stormy night in Istanbul.

Oh the panic ... I turned the laptop upside down immediately, tears at the ready if required, wondering all the while if one should turn laptops upside down.

The dangers of demon drink, the wine fused the right-hand side of the keyboard and so it is that I work between an external keyboard typing and a laptop touchpad mouse these days ... One arm is probably longer than the other, I'm not sure that I'm kidding.

And I like to sit with my left leg hooked under me on the office chair; the office chair that I leaned back in while talking on skype ... the back of it broke some. If I don't slouch in a particular way then the metal rod on the back support pokes into my back.

Disturbingly enough, the author of the article has as point number 5. Don't' ignore the pain. If parts of your body are causing you discomfort, visit your doctor immediately.

Then again, she's thinking about buying a $1,800 ergonomically designed chair ...


Manic said...

I was hoping this article would give me pointers on how to keep you bloglife interesting, but it didn't :(. Ahh well, office chairs are so bad for leaning or chilling on them. They so can't handle that.

I'm gonna start a new blog soon, where I'm gonna kick out all the crappy posts and get straight down to the bare essence. Only problem is, I haven't figured that essence out yet, ahh well, we'll see.

woman wandering said...

You thought 'repetitive strain injury' as in repeating your blog posts?

Nah, just teasing. Sorry not provide you with anything interesting in this one. I was going to make it interesting then thought about me and what was going on with me ergonomically and well ... it amused me :)

Just be yourself in your new blog. Have you checked out Mark's blog lately ... ? That's what he's test-driving over there.

Mathieu said...

I wrote all of my work documents and blogging on the laptop keyboard and screen, lounging in the sofa, for over a year. Various twinges and some numbness in my pinkies told me I had to shape up.

I now have a real desk with a riser for the large, bright external screen, an ergonomic keyboard and chair. The only thing that was expensive was the screen, cuz I splurged on a 19", but the chair (which is incredibly comfortable and solid) was $300 and the desk $100.

The good old 80/20 rule applies to ergonomic comfort and you can get a huge improvement (80% as good as the $2,000 chair) while spending much less (less than 20% of it's price)!

Seriously, don't spend the food and electricity budget on it, but with a little shopping you can really give your back and hands a big break.

christina said...

I had "mouse elbow" there for a while but it did eventually go away by itself. Very painful, though. Right now we have a chair that is much too low (can't be adjusted higher) and a monitor that's much too high so neck strain is practically a given. Oh yes, and a few weeks ago I spilled a cafe au lait all over the left side of the keyboard, immediately turned said keyboard upside down and shook it like crazy and much to my suprise found that it still worked. It's a bit sticky, but no one else seems to have noticed. The things we put up with to stay online, eh? :-)

woman wandering said...

Hi Mathieu, thanks for the comment.
I have go looking and see what I can find out there ... it's about making time for that, then realigning my body I guess.

:) Anyone would think we were addicted to this blogging thing Christina. Imagine that ...

Let's make a wee pact to improve our work stations over the next few months ... then again, it will be summer, surely more stretching and movement will be a given ... surely. I will talk firmly to myself and see what I can come up with.

V-Grrrl said...

I sometimes have to wear lycra wrist and hand braces to lessen the stress. They do a remarkable job and look like fingerless gloves.

The big black office chair I jokingly refer to as Mission Control needs to be replaced. It's gone all wobbly and soft on me.

woman wandering said...

Mission control ... that's cute, Ms V-grrl.

I feel quite damaged by the winter of my ... blogging. I do believe walking, stretching and cycling might go a long way, now to find the will ;)