Perhaps the major niggle of my writing life must be those horrible three letters – RSI. That invisible problematic condition of Repetitive Strain Injury, that many of us writers will often suffer in silence with, can be enough to bring a writer to their knees. Having suffered with the condition for many years now, I will gratefully dispense any advice that I can to others experiencing its systematic problems.
Work on Making Your Writing Environment RSI Free
I first began experiencing RSI in my wrists when I was working in an office. Using a computer all day and then coming home to continue using my laptop to write all night soon began to take its toll, and it wasn’t long before regular flare ups become the norm. Though I manage with the pain when it does rear its head, there was one episode that hit me when I was on holiday and it made me rethink my entire approach to writing in general. After all, for myself, writing has been and always will be my life. Therefore, I had to tackle RSI head on.
An ergonomic vertical mouse – This allows me to use and control the mouse movements in a more relaxed position without straining or twisting my wrist.
An ergonomic keyboard – This ensures I type in the most natural position with a palm rest that supports and relaxes my wrists as I work.
An under desk ergonomic foot rest – This is an additional precaution to ensure the correct posture at my desk. I use this to reduce the strain on my back, neck and legs when I sit at the desk for longer periods of time.
I also make sure I use my laptop with both the ergonomic mouse and keyboard. I may look strange when I take out a compact laptop and then a chunky mouse and keyboard when at a coffee shop! Yet, if you suffer with RSI you will no doubt know that the trackpad on a laptop is a major cause of an RSI flareup, and they leave your wrists with a burning sensation some several hours after using.
Above all, if you do suffer with RSI, even though there is no cure for this condition, it is possible to take preventive measures to ensure flare ups remain few and far in between. Take a little bit of time to ensure your work place is designed to accommodate your condition and, if not, look at ways of improving it as soon as you can.