By John R. Quain |
August 31, 1997
Quain's Top 10 for taking care of yourself during long hours in front of a computer.
- Get up and walk around! Take a 1 minute break from the computer every 30 minutes, and a 5 minute break every couple of hours. Go to the water cooler and catch up on office gossip.
- Learn the keyboard commands. Try to remember commands such as "Ctrl A" to mark text. Avoiding the mouse will preserve your wrist and forearm.
- Don't cradle the phone with your neck. If you're right-handed, put the phone on the left side of the desk so you hold the handset with your left hand and take notes with your right.
- Keep the screen clean. Dusting it off once a week will relieve eye strain.
- If it hurts, don't do it. Pay attention to your body. If your wrist aches, print out so you can get away from the computer.
- Have your eyes examined regularly. Slaving over a hot CRT only exacerbates improperly corrected vision.
- Change your gear. From time to time, switch to different keyboards and pointing devices. The more variety you put into your computer work the better.
- Be kind to your mouse. By using a light grip, you won't tense the muscles and tendons in your arm.
- Keep warm. Colder muscles and tendons appear to be more susceptible to RSI.
- Is it just your office? Repetitive activities such as playing a musical instrument can cause RSI. You might have to make some changes outside of work.