Avoiding Repetitive Stress Injury: Invest In Yourself Now, Or Pay Later

There I was, thirty years after I first sat down at an Apple IIe , and I suddenly found myself wondering if I would ever use a computer again without pain. How could I work if I couldn’t use a computer anymore? I had to seriously ask myself this question. It took a bit of a winding road to figure out what was going on and two EMGs to confirm it, but after all these years, it was clear to the medical community that I had developed a repetitive stress injury (RSI) called cubital tunnel syndrome in my left arm.

Yeah, it’s about like that. Image via Kinesis

Cubital tunnel syndrome is like carpal tunnel, but in your elbow instead of your wrist. What a misnomer! Sometimes my pain went all the way from my armpit to my fingertips and made me want to gnaw my own arm off. I don’t think you can really understand neuropathy unless you’ve felt this weird, annoying type of pain firsthand. I hope you never do.

Can you stop and seriously imagine not being able to use a computer for the rest of your life? Or at least feeling that way because doing so causes incredibly annoying pain? I feel like we’re all vaguely aware of the standard list of anti-RSI precautions, but let’s review:

  • maintain good posture — sit with feet flat on the floor, wrists straight, elbows at 90°
  • put the screen an arm’s length away at eye level
  • take frequent short breaks

Yes, those are all fine and good. But there are other things you can do to avoid computer-related RSIs, like using ergonomic inputs, and building a custom setup that fits you exactly. This isn’t a study kiosk at the university library we’re talking about — this is your battlestation! The problem is that many people are stubborn, and won’t go out of their way to do anything to proactively prevent these injuries. But you don’t have to cross a bridge when you come to it if you have a map that shows you a way around the body of water.

Don’t Be Like Me

When I started my old office job, there was a brief overview of good ergonomics. I was offered an adjustable foot stool which I took, and a keyboard tray which I didn’t and probably should have. Instead, I ground my arms into the desk for many years as I typed and used the mouse. When we moved buildings and no longer had beveled desk edges, that’s when I was really in trouble.

Don’t be happy with whatever is available. Ergonomics are for everyone at any time, so don’t wait until you need them urgently. While it’s true that companies are legally bound to provide ergonomic assessments and alternative equipment, they’re probably not going to come up to you with an IT cart full of options. You’ll have to make it known that you need it. Be proactive with ergonomics, not reactive. Someone in another department wanted a standing desk, so the office manager stayed late one night and raised a section of his desk along the cubicle wall.

This is me. Two feet off the ground, with both feet doing work. You can see the macro footstool glowing underneath the desk. That yellow thing is a Shift pedal.

Now that I work from home, I am most of the way to the perfect battlestation. I finally got an adjustable-height desk that goes low enough that I can sit at it with my feet flat on the floor and have my elbows bent at 90° angles. It’s huge and low to the ground, like a conference room table for children. But who cares what it looks like? I spend most of my waking hours at this desk. That’s 12-16 hours a day. It needs to fit me properly. Throw in the expensive miracle chair, the funny keyboard, and the trackball mouse, and I am back in business.

What’s On Your Desk?

You might be happy with what you’ve got now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t give you problems down the line. I’m not telling you to go out and buy all new equipment, but you should listen to your body. If you have leg or back pain, start with a better chair. Wrist pain? Try some ergonomic keyboards and mice.

I think you should care about your setup, and I don’t mean to take care that everything matches or has RGB. The choice of a keyboard is an important one and should not be based solely on aesthetics. You use these things how many hours a week?

I know, I know. Keeping to all these anti-RSI recommendations feels totally uncool, like riding a skateboard in public with a full set of neon protective gear on. But as long as you’re aware of the signs and keep the precautions against it in the back of your mind, you might just be alright. All it takes is one bad habit, repeated mindlessly dozens of times a day.

49 thoughts on “Avoiding Repetitive Stress Injury: Invest In Yourself Now, Or Pay Later

  1. Do you touch-type? I have often wondered if touch-typists suffer more from this than poke-and-hope typists. You seem to have to always be using your muscles to hold your hands still in exactly the correct place over the home keys, whereas my hands are all over place mostly using a couple of fingers to do the poking. After 45 years I know where all the keys are, but I still have to look.

    1. I’m a touch typist and I don’t find that I have to hold my arms still in one spot at all, I can type from pretty much any angle, including the keyboard rotated 180, I think this goes for most who can type.

      1. My brain may not be well-adapted enough to type on a keyboard rotated 180deg, but I too definitely don’t need to keep my hands in some statically learned position.

    2. I used to use the Colemak layout, which is “home-row” heavy. I switched back to QWERTY for convenience, and have since learned that I no longer use the home row. Instead, my fingers rest on ASER-NIOP, if anything, and my hands are always angled. It’s honestly not that bad ergonomically.

    1. I spend a LOT of time at a keyboard, either coding or in the preparation of documents. I suffered RSI and I got to the point where the act of typing was like having knives driven through my wrists.

      The solution–and the improvement was dramatic–was to switch to a Gold Touch split keyboard. (No, I have no personal financial interest in the company)

      The relief was immediate and the adjustment time was short. I keep my keyboard pitched into an acute Vee, like a tent. The halves are flayed outward only slightly.

      At the time they were new, I think Gold Touch keyboards cost 150 bucks. Now they are probably 30, but worth every penny. Yes they look odd, but I now regard standard keyboards as odd.

      Another thing that helps… buy a pair a cheap, brown, cotton gardening gloves. Use scissors to cut off all the fingertips… kind of “Oliver Twist” style. Wearing these has no negative impact on dexterity, but the concentration of warmth in the palm and wrist seems to promote circulation and prevent inflamation.

      Finally, find a spare USB mouse, tape (or paint) over the optical sensor. Solder wire to the left and right buttons, and extend the wires to a couple of pushbutton foot switches. Plug it into to your PC (it doesnt care if you register two mouse HIDs at the same time–at least Linux doesnt care) Now you can make selections with your feet. You’d be surprised how much wear and tear you can offload from your hands.

  2. Been there, i know what it feels like. It creates a deep and annoying pain which you simply cannot block out with your mind.
    For a couple of years i could hardly tie my shoes or open a heavy door. I managed to get it under control now, although sometimes just barely (or not at all).. It still stops me from doing a lot of things like mountain climbing or even swimming. Swimming while holding your hands in a fist helps a little but slows you way down..

    The available furniture and computer gear is getting better nowadays, even for us lefty’s. I liked the sitting ball that one of the specialists recommended. But since i am 1.99m tall, the ball had to be so big that i could hardly bend my legs around it to touch the ground anymore :-) Sitting cross-legged on top of it, while slowly bouncing a little bit was absolutely great but drove my colleagues nuts. Sadly, It got stuck under a sharp corner of something while sitting on it. It wont explode, but a lot of people saw me sinking lower and lower to the ground :-)

    1 Thing that does NOT help (for me that is) is all those RSI timer software.. popups with animations of finger/arm/facial stretches you must do every x minutes, blocking your system to force you to take breaks etc. does not help at all. It just makes you stress even more making it worse. It was mandatory at some of the customers i worked for however. Bypass it and you have a 0 chance of any liability claims etc.

    Yes, you must take regular brakes etc.. but locking me out of my system for 15 minutes while i am troubleshooting a major network issue is not relaxing at all. just makes me start using more systems so i can switch around.

    I got a lot of good tips though !

    Start smoking ! it will make you take more and longer breaks !

    But smoking is bad for you and also causes your veins to contract allowing for less bloodflow which does not exactly help with the RSI issue -> so start drinking as well ! Or start smoking marihuana ! That relaxes you !

    Uhm, sure.. i’ll give it a try..

  3. Back in high school I knew I was going to get into computers so I took a typing class which (among other things like knowing how to center text on an electric typewriter) got me in the right habits for touch typing. 30+ years later and I really don’t have any RSI issues and the girl that sat right behind me can’t type well but we’ve been married for 26 years, so there’s that.

    1. I HAD to either have taken typing class or pass the typing tutor program at 25 WPM to even sign up for computer programming class in high school. One of the top-10 best things I was ever forced to do.

  4. After some wrist pain, I switched to an ergonomic keyboard, which has helped tremendously. I also use a Logitech MX Ergo trackball, which is an improvement over the trackball I was using before and provides two positions (need to remember to switch it up).

    Finally, I’m pretty tall, so I put small risers under my desk to help with my knee position.

    Definitely something people need to consider!

  5. I’ve been using a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (ergonomic management keyboard) for about 15-years. Its kind annoying that they’ve discontinued it. The replacements all seem to omit the numeric keypad or mess around with the placement of the cursor-keys and insert/delete/home/end/pg-up/pg-down groups. Typing on a conventional keyboard with straight rows of keys feels like I’m trying to simultaneously touch my navel with both elbows.

    I learnt to use a QWERTY keyboard as a kid, because of that I never learnt to touch-type until I switched to Dvorak layout. Without the text on the keys to guide me I found there was a four-week period of looking forwards to numbers before I got the hang of touch typing.

    With the massive increase in home working, I’ve heard lots of horror stories of people working sat on their beds with laptops on their knees.

    If anyone can recommend a good successor to the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 please let me know.

    1. After my last one wore out (they tended to last about 2 years) I built a keebio Iris and 3D printed a tent to angle them. As a bonus, I put sockets on the pcbs, so I can pull/replace the switches however I want. It did take quite some time to adjust to using layers, but it was worth it. I may get a separate keypad, though.

    2. I recommend the Cloudnine C989M. It’s fairly expensive, but works well as a replacement for my old MS Natural Multimedia keyboard, which was my favorite keyboard for something like 20 years.
      I started using split keyboards almost as soon as the first Microsoft Natural Keyboard came out in the 1990s. I was working in IT back then, and a split keyboard was a huge improvement for me.
      Another keyboard you might wish to consider is the Perixx Periboard-512, which is a lot less expensive than the Cloudnine ($40 USD vs. $180 USD), but uses membrane keys and feels much less solid. I’ve grown to really enjoy using the Cherry-MX keys in my C989M, and the fact that it has RGB lighting also helps.

      I find it difficult to type on a standard keyboard these days, having used a split keyboard for over 25 years now.

    3. Dvorak for the win. Solved all my RSI problems, been using it for decades on all keyboards.
      I wince every time I have to twist my fingers around to type anything in Qwerty, don’t know how you guys do it all day. It’s physically painful!

    4. If you’re not ready for a split, check out the Logitech Wave. That was my intermediate step between a rectangle and the Kinesis Advantage. It’s quite pleasing to type on for a bunch of rubber domes. I still miss the volume rocker.

  6. I often find it odd that people find most “ergonomic” keyboards more ergonomic than a conventional keyboard. Due to the fact that my pinky fingers are shorter than my middle and index, I find that a comfortable position with my wrists straight and fingers naturally curved pretty much puts them on the home row without any strain. most of the split type ergo boards, I find that my wrists are actually turned slightly inward. and they usually have built in palm wrests that are not at the right height, and make it difficult to use an external one in the right spot if it was needed.

    I also rest my wrists on the edge of my desk on the bony bits on the outside edges, so there’s no weight on any of the squishy bits. My elbows are actually slightly lower than the desk, so my wrists, and the back of my hands are relaxed. of course, this dictates the distance from the edge of the desk to my keyboard, but that works fine for me.

    If you look at conventional “ergonomics” suggestions there’s not really much supporting most of them. Elbows at 90 degrees? Why? Hovering your hands over the keyboard? there’s a whole bunch of different combinations of keyboard angle, and seating height that will work equally well, as long as you find a way to keep your wrists and hands relaxed without putting weight on the sensitive parts of your wrists.

    I’m not saying that this kind of setup will necessarily work for everyone, but I’ve seen people who buy every ergonomic gadget out there, and I’m not sure that it’s actually an improvement in many cases.

    I think looking at how you’re using the stuff is probably the first step, before you just go out and buy all new gear that claims to be ergonomic (but may not necessarily fit you better).

    This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy “ergonomic” keyboards, etc, but you should evaluate if they will actually be more ergonomic for you and not just assume that they’re universally better because that’s how the marketing department labels them.

  7. And while we’re at it, don’t forget your back… use a GOOD chair (or a ball, or…) and, if possible, a height-adjustable desk which allows you to work in a standing position for some time (say, 10 mins per hour at least). Just recovering from a herniated disc with neuropathic symptoms downto the left foot… so don’t be like me either.

  8. My weapons of choice are a hand built dactyl manuform 5×7 (typical build with dual pro micros and QMK), and a 10+ year old Logitech Trackman Wheel wired trackball which will eventually be replaced by a logitech M570.

    If I ever have to return to the office, I’ll be building a dactyl for there to replace the Microsoft Natural keyboard 4000s that I’ve been using at various workplaces for the last decade.

    I use a keyboard tray on an articulating arm, very similar to the Mount-IT MI-7134, but not exactly the same.

    My desk is a custom L shaped desk that measures 6.5 ft on each side, with a 13U rack built into the right side, it works but needs a rebuild.

    My chair could use some improvements, but it’s not terrible.

  9. The thing I always find idiotic with most people that give examples about how to type “correctly” is that they always put their hands at some obviously uncomfortable angle compared to their arm.

    A lot of “ergonomic” keyboards have decided to split the keyboard in two halves and bend the two halves outwards to give a more “natural” angle to it.

    While I just keep my hands at a natural angle to start with. yes, that means that instead of having my fingers going in parallel with the “home keys”, it is rather moving somewhat more diagonally across them instead. It is more comfortable, and I don’t find it any less effective either. (Ie, I can type faster than I can think up the text to write, and that is fast enough.)

    Then there is other “ergonomic” keyboards that have key wells for one to not have to move one’s hands at all while typing. I find this even more stupid… Just move your hands about, movement isn’t bad, it keeps the joints lubed up, the blood flowing, and generally keeps all the parts of the hands warmed up to make typing more comfortable.

    Though, I am this weird type of person that have learned to touch type with just one hand. Then I can keep one hand on the mouse while working with various programs, not going to move it away to just type little text…

    I rarely if ever feel any pain or lack of comfort in my wrists and hands, nor elbows. Only times I do is after doing something stupid, like picking up something far too heavy in a stupid way, or accidentally whacking a finger under a hammer, or just having it a fair bit too cold in the room during winter and trying to quickly type something up. Cold hands and speed typing isn’t a good mix.

    In my experience, a lot of people that are getting ergonomic keyboards are the people who have these strange requirements for “correct” typing, that one has to keep one’s hand above certain keys, and that certain keys in the middle of the keyboard belongs to a certain hand. Yes, this might shave off a few seconds on that essay, but is that worth comfort and well working hands?

    1. And there are chord keyboards. Eight keys, one for each finger, to generate 255 different key codes. One guy built one for his bike so he can type while riding.

      Of course, the last time that an employer provided me with a chord keyboard was…never. I learnt typing on a standard QUERTY keyboard, then had to switch to QUERTZ because my employer just had these – and in those “good old times”, keyboards used proprietary connector with proprietary protocols. That has changed nowadays, thanks to USB. Still, I am pretty much stuck to standard keyboards nowadays, even though I was lucky enough that one employer even allowed us to bring our own keyboards. It still sucks to carry your keyboard into the server room to unplug the standard issue KVM thing to plug in your own…ah well.

      1. Generally speaking, I find QWERTY sufficient for at least all the languages I regularly type.
        I haven’t found much reason to use any other to be fair, speed typing is partly a gimmick after some point, and ergonomics is somewhat over exaggerated and generally just annoying to use, be it switching between that and regular keyboard, or just learning to use it in the first place.

        Though, a lot of people that take typing more seriously tend to form some weird religious belief around keyboards and ergonomics, while I find it silly.

  10. I HAD to move to an ergonomic keyboard as my wrists were always sore by the end of the work day. Was a big concern as my career was just starting. That’s been years ago now. Difference it makes is like light and day between standard and ergonomic keyboards. Yes there is a slight bit of training to use and the keyboards are bulky, but way way WAY worth it to me. I use the Microsoft Natural keyboard ( I think that is what they are called) at home and work.

    1. Couldn’t use them. Wrists should be straight, and those require bending your wrist quite sharply.

      Not every product labeled “ergonomic” is going to be a good fit for you.

    1. I use a Kinesis Advantage USB with thumb pad velcroed to the center. Works well for lap use. Probably depends on upper arm length vs. torso length, YMMV. Don’t hesitate to try pads, blocks, whatever to adjust. If someone says something, most likely they are looking for a conversation starter.

  11. When you have tried all the hardware things, those simple things will save you:
    – don’t work all the day long: stop every hour or two: get a coffee, go and discuss with a human, sort your desktop, or go in the machine room to do some manual job … you’ll also save your eyes …
    – do some exercise / sport : I personally practice Judo two times a week, it strengthens my back and arms muscles and avoids my nerves to be blocked in my elbow and in my wrist
    – stop thinking that working 12 or 16 hours a day is good: productiveness lowers with such a long job period, you brains needs to have some breaks and some oxygen. Move your body, do some exercise and get some more oxygen for your brain.

    Note: three years ago I had wrist, elbow and back pains. Every night I woke up because I wasn’t able to feel my fingers … it was like I had ants moving in my wrist / fingers. At that time I wasn’t able to drive my motorbike more than 20 or 30 minutes, and had to take a 15 minutes break to be able to ride again.
    I changed my office layout: put my screens higher, place my keyboard away from me so my elbows be at 90°, get a good ergonomic chair. All those things gave me some small benefits … changing my way to live was the only clue … as side effect benefits I also lost weight and met interesting people.
    Now I can ride my bike for 6 hours in a day (a Bandit 600), I am even able to ride a super sportive bike (Suzuki GSXR) which is not an ergonomic bike. My way of working was killing me, and the sport and exercise saved me ! As a bonus for my boss, I am even more effective at work …

  12. I have had tendinitis in both wrists since 1990 while doing part-time tech writing. I had asked for an ergonomic mouse and keyboard when I first noticed some soreness at the end of the day, and was told if I wanted them I had to buy my own. A few months later I filed my worker’s comp claim and suddenly a new mouse and keyboard (Microsoft Natural, still use a variation of them to this day) arrived.

    31 years later, I still can’t play past the 6th or 7th frame in bowling, wet- signing documents to buy a house is near impossible, and I had to give up deep-sea fishing. Take care of your body, and if something hurts, STOP! and figure out why.

  13. I developed RSI about 2 years back as programmer.

    I did the usual stuff that most people recommend and didn’t notice a whole lot of progress towards recovery. The thing that made the difference was doing landscaping work in the sunlight for several hours on end. At first I thought it was going to make it worse. Then I started noticing that my hands felt great afterwards. So I kept doing it. Added regular upper body workouts into the mix (pushup, pull ups, and other low-impact muscle building exercises). Over time it went for where I could work maybe normal one day a week before the flare ups caused me to basically limp through the rest of the work week to being able to go a full week.

    While it hasn’t gone away completely it’s perfectly manageable now. I suspect my injury was caused by working long hours in a dark office. A lack of regular sunlight caused a Vitamin D deficiency.

    I recommend going on a long 2-3 hour sunny hike and see if your hands bother you as much when you get home.

    1. Also, worth mentioning, changing ergonomics didn’t have much of an effect for me, but then again my equipment wasn’t total garbage. Better ergonomics might reduce the discomfort in the short term, but long term, if you are not making meaningful lifestyle changes, you are just kicking the can down the road. You will trudge along and reduce the pain but you wont heal. It wasn’t until I read a post by a guy that claimed that pushups made a huge difference that I decided to focus less on try to masking/reducing pain and more on improving my fitness to promote healing.

      Best advice: Get fit. Get sunlight. Reduce stress. Eat a balanced nutritional diet. Work those affected muscles using low-impact exercises. You want to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Be wary of medicating the problem away, although medication is generally preferable to inflammation since inflammation causes scarring. Look at the RSI success stories and you will see these types of recommendations.

      Also, do not neglect the fact that RSI can be psychosomatic. Even if your physical injury is doing fine your brain can still trigger a pain and inflammation response if those neural pathways have been created between the activity and the pain. My RSI was always at its worst when I was pissed off coding at work. It wasn’t even the act of using my hands that made the pain come back. I could spend all day doing work in the backyard with my hands and they always felt great at the end, but the moment I logged in to do work, my hands would start aching almost immediately. Reduce stress.

      My anecdote might not help everyone, so my advice is, try everything at the same time until you find a correlation with pain reduction. Also, doctors can be idiots that just like to prescribe pain relievers without offering any good advice. Positivity is important. Even if you don’t get back to 100% with some work you can get back to using your hands effectively.

  14. I use trackballs exclusively now due to RSI, can’t use a mouse anymore at all. Split ortho board and heavily modified L-Trac = input nirvana. I also have a few of Elecom’s offerings, but nothing beats the L-Trac. Seriously, if you’re considering a ball, get an L-Trac. Thank me later.

  15. blacksmiths, watchmakers and surgeons have figured out a thing or two along the way as well.
    For blacksmiths, work table (or anvil) height should be such that when holding a hammer, your knuckles touch the surface with elbow at 90 degrees. I’ve found this critical for comfort when cooking dinner- I’m 6’1″ and “standard” counter top height is much too short. If I’m cooking anything involved, I sit down on chair and work. Looks goofy as hell sitting on a chair in my own kitchen chopping veggies but makes a huge difference.
    Watchmaking- same story. Position the work at a height that is ergonomic. In this case, really really high. So that when you stand or sit you are staring the work right in the face with your back straight and neutral and neck not craned over or anything.
    Surgery. Same. Surgeons will often fuss about moving the table up or down an inch here and there, but over a career having “the work” at the exact right height both makes fine motor movements more precise and over the course of a career doesn’t lead to repetitive stress injury, eye strain and injury, spine disk herniations and back pain, and so on.

    me personally? I’m tall (ish) and finding an ergonomic optimum standing is nearly impossible. So I sit a lot . I don’t care if I look lazy or whatever, I’ll laugh all the way to the grave with my back, c-spine and eyes in good working order thankyouverymuch

    1. I’m taller than you and know well the pain of low kitchen work surfaces – every time I do the dishes or anything else out there I open the cupboard doors and ‘stand’ with very bent legs and the knees in the cupboard – much more comfortable, though a little tiring…

      Just built myself a toolbox/stand for my little clockmaking lathe partly for the same reason – it bumps the little bugger up to a more comfortable height (though still lower than I’d perhaps like, its so much better than before – one of those compromises required by the space and recycled resources I was building it with). Main reason was just it lets me store all the lathe tools and accessories under the machine and tidies the workshop somewhat – but two birds with one stone is always nice – which is why the lathe got done now.

      Also customised a dining table and monitor arm to be my desk – could perhaps still use a little more height floor to table but that adjustment will wait until I finish the chair, as I’ve been unable to find a chair that will suit my more Dwarven proportions and Elven height – a project that was supposed to be done over a year ago but the lockdowns put a kink in getting the parts – I’m not enough of an upholstery and fabrics expert to order the right stuff on its spec sheet alone, the way I’d do for most other projects…

  16. I first injured myself while working as a carpenter – shoveling rocks in drainage systems – and spent the next 40 years struggling with carpal tunnel. I couldn’t hold a paint brush or roller for more than a few minutes without symptoms, similar problems with the throttle on my motorcycle – drove my decision to install a true cruise control on the bike, absolutley a great decision as I had a penchant for riding 8 – 10 hour stretches.
    So, keyboarding, mousing about, all exacerbated the condition, not pleasant when writing code.
    My solution which minimized my symptoms, and drove the corporate posture police crazy, was sitting an office chair reclining as far as possible with wrists and elbows at the same height as my desktop.
    Last year I finally had the surgical intervention for the carpal tunnel and couldn’t be happier with the outcome; better than I expected since I’m totally pain free and no longer experience the classic loss of sensation in the first three digits. I can totally empathize with Kristina’s pain – while a carpenter, I often woke at 0200 with excruciating pain radiating to my neck. Happy those days are far in the past.

  17. For me it was cubital from mouse use in photoshop. Luckily I figured out changing monitor height and chair height fixed it for me (along with Advil for months and gentle stretching)

  18. Just looking at a cheap keyboard now raises a psychosomatic pain response from my forearms to the first knuckles on my fingers. Cheap monitors, too, but looking at them is their primary function so that’s not exactly psychosomatic. I want tall keys.

  19. Kinesis Advantage USB keyboard, dish shape for each hand and a large flat support area for palms.
    Velcroed a thumb pad in the middle.
    Mousemitt dot com Keyboarder padded partial gloves (had to slit them up the side, they run small and my hands are large).
    Built a tray with 2020 Aluminum extrusion to get an adjustable height.
    Cut gluten, dairy, reduced sugar to reduce inflammation.

    I do wish the keyboard was angled or separated farther, have to bend my wrists sideways a bit.

  20. It’s not a fun reality compared to geeking out about cool gear and innovative new layouts and tricks. But the reality is that 95% of avoiding RSI is posture and exercise (your core!), 5% your tools.

    You might be able to force yourself into better habits with a clever input device or chair, but the reality is that doing some sit-ups, going for a walk, and sitting up properly are what you really need. And it needs to be slow and steady. You’re not going to get yourself in shape in a few weeks. You’ll just hurt yourself differently.

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