Beginners Guides: Ergonomics & Computers
Having fun with Carpal Tunnel? Our drug-free guide just might make you feel a little better - Version 1.0.0
are a long time computer user like me, you might have noticed the occasional
hurts and discomforts that go hand in hand with spending long periods of
time in front of the PC. Stare at a monitor for hours on end, year after year
and most likely you'll eventually start to notice the pains magnify in frequency
and severity. Do this long enough, and the discomfort could become part of the
daily routine when you sit down to work or game at a computer.
especially noticeable when using a computer setup outside your home or office,
where the mouse and keyboard, monitor and even the position you are sitting in
are different. If you depend on your computer to make a living, these symptoms
can present a major barrier to your ability to work effectively, and not just
ergonomics in your computer environment can lead to permanent personal injury.
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs), including conditions like Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome and Tendinitis, are the most common occupational injuries in North
America. Many of these cases would be easily preventable, but still occur due to
ignorance of the symptoms or the severity of the injury. Ironically, repetitive strain injuries
have been documented as far back as 1793.
guide aims to provide a guideline for identifying and avoiding situations which
could result in the development of a repetitive strain injury, and to recommend
ergonomically sound computer setups and products.
And please, if your
livelihood does not depend on computer work and you are reading this anyway,
chances are that you are a gamer. Don't pass this article up, unless
you can be sure you are not going to be spending 8 hours straight or more in
front of your computer when Half-Life 2 comes out… RSIs happen to gamers too,
and a little prevention goes a long way to keeping you in the game. Pun,
What is a repetitive strain injury?
Repetitive strain injury is a blanket term for several conditions. All involve damage done to one or more of the muscles, bones, nerves or soft tissue due to constant, recurring motions. This also referred to as Cumulative Tissue Damage or CTD.
Repetitive strain injuries are by no means unique to computer users, though this is what we will focus on. Like any injury, they are generally easier to prevent than to treat once they have become entrenched. Repetitive strain injuries can result in permanent nerve damage and disability. RSIs caused by computer use are generally in the hands, wrists, neck and shoulders, and include the infamous carpal tunnel syndrome, a compression and irritation of the median nerve responsible for sensation in the thumb, index and middle fingers.