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Repetitive Strain Injury - Prevention

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
ANNOUNCER: Repetitive strain injuries – caused by too many repetitions of a motion without enough breaks for the body to rest – can be devastating

Deborah Quilter, RSI Expert: You're using the same group of muscles in the same way over and over again hundreds One of the most common questions I get over my website is "Dear Ms. Quilter, what job can I do now that I can't use my hands any more?"

ANNOUNCER: After recovering from her own injury, writer Deborah Quilter wrote two books on the subject. Now she teaches others how to change their work habits – and avoid repetitive strain injuries. She offers the following tips for computer users: b>Deborah Quilter, RSI Expert: The keyboard needs to be low so that you can relax your shoulders and place the keyboard directly underneath your hands. If you have to lift your shoulders even a millimeter, it's going to strain your entire upper extremity.

ANNOUNCER: A lower keyboard also helps users maintain proper hand position. b>Deborah Quilter, RSI Expert: You want to use a neutral wrist. You can find the neutral wrist by letting your hand drop and just bringing it up. It's not this. It's not a limp wrist. It's not dorsiflexus, it's right in the middle.

ANNOUNCER: Posture is also important. b>Deborah Quilter, RSI Expert: You want to sit very tall, so that your ear, shoulder, and hip are over lined. They're in a straight line.

ANNOUNCER: Ms. Quilter also suggests using keystrokes instead of the mouse whenever possible. b>Deborah Quilter, RSI Expert: The mouse is not shaped for the human hand. It puts you in two very bad positions at the same time.

ANNOUNCER: But one of the most important things users can do is to take enough breaks to allow the muscles, tendons and nerves to rest. b>Deborah Quilter, RSI Expert: You take breaks at least every twenty minutes, preferably standing. And you exercise to keep your body strong enough to maintain proper seated posture and also to strengthen the arm to hold the hand. Whether we realize it or not, we are all athletes at the computer, so we have to treat ourselves like athletes in training

ANNOUNCER: These simple steps can help computer athletes avoid being side-lined by R.S.I. Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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