Stuff I have written/presented
Saving your back and hands from RSI and similar pain
Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 11:13
I took part in a occupational-health-related thread recently, and wrote a bit of my experience which might be helpful for my readers, many of them avid keyboard users, with usually ≥8hr of typing per day.
(…) I suffered not from RSI but from painful back aches. I started using standard keyboards in a different fashion, not putting so much stress on my wrists (and on the muscles connecting them to the rest of the body, of course): I exclusively use US keymaps (with some modifications to allow for proper Spanish input and ﬀŭₙṅý characters), but instead of making the middle row my fingers' home row, I type with the base position of my fingers in a V shape — Fingers resting on (approx.) w-e-f-v-spacebar and spacebar-m-l-;-]; the fingers doing most of the travelling are the index and middle, and with no straining for the little fingers to reach ` or backspace. On the other side, the most straining keys become Control and Shift, which requires closing the hands a bit too much, but are not that bad. My way does induce some new kind of stress, as my arms also have to move to reach 6 and 7, but it... Works for me™.
It looks weird and is somewhat strange to get used to, but I must say it has worked great for me. I work this way on regular and laptop keyboards, even on my netbook's noticeably smaller one.
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