11/01/2008

Ergonomic breaks reminder

At the time of writing this post, I am sure that most or all of us are aware that how important it is to take short breaks for relieving stress and physical fitness. Still how many of us prefer to take stairs instead of elevator? How many of us take frequent short breaks for relieving stress?






I work in information technology field and last week I started getting pain in my right hand wrist while using mouse. So I switched and started using my left hand, but that reminded me of stretching my muscles so that they remain in good condition. These days many of us work with computers for long hours and I wanted to remind each one of you to take frequent short breaks for your own physical fitness.

A few years ago I had used software which was installed on my laptop and it used to remind us of taking breaks between works. I am not trying to promote any ergonomic reminder software here. This is just a reminder post for each one of you who is reading this post.





Are you aware of these terms: RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury - US), OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndrome), MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorders - Europe) which are commonly observed in working population. CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) and CVS (Computer vision syndrome) are associated with computer use. Even I don’t know much about all these terms but what I know is that any of these can be avoided if we make cautious efforts in our work life towards it. These injuries are becoming more and more common in today's computer intensive world. OOS, RSI, MSD, CTS and CVS can become very painful and debilitating if not treated on right time. With this in mind, the best cure is prevention. If injuries already exist, strict work methods are required to recover.




Talking about Ergonomic software, or break reminder software, these software are designed to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and other computer related health problems such as back pain, neck, wrist and shoulder pain, CTS, tenosynovitis and tendinitis - often referred to collectively as "upper limb disorders". It can also aid in the recovery from such conditions. The Ergonomic software runs quietly in the background, monitoring your computer activity and reminding you to take regular breaks. It can observe activities like mouse clicks, keyboard strokes, mouse movement etc. Sometimes looking at the statistics it produces you will be surprised at how fast the time goes and how much work you are actually doing.


You should make Ergonomic software an integral component of your workstation ergonomics now!


Related Stuff: Some ergonomic free to download software I have observed are Office Yoga, Stress Buster, Break Reminder and if you find some more let us know you can find it on google with keywords like ergonomic software, stress relieve software, break reminder software.

17 comments:

  1. I've started using software called Dragon Naturally Speaking and I let it do the typing for me. :) It does take some of the pressure of constantly being on the computer off my poor wrists.

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  2. I was going to mention the DNS software also Lisa!

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  3. Luckily at my job I have to park 3 blocks away so I get to walk a lot and I take the stairs at the parking garage. I would at my building but I work on the 18th floor... At my work itself I am up and down constantly so that helps. It is frustrating, though. I've noticed lately that I'm starting to get pains in my right thumb.

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  4. Regular stretching exercises are essential for us, I start getting back pain and wrist pain if I stop doing stretching those muscles for few days.

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  5. I use a laptop all day and my right hand is suffering. Off to check out the free software - thanks for mentioning it!

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  6. I think this would be perfect. May people that work in the same position all day, get caught up in trying to finish the task, whatever. I think this software would be great...Even more, a software that would pause your computer for at least 5 minutes an hour to remind you to get up, stretch, whatever.

    Good Posts,
    ~J~

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  7. Great advice. Whether you are sitting at a computer or picking vegetables... you need to take a break from your labors!

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  8. 28 years of computer work and you KNOW I'm suffering LOL! This is an excellent reminder (and good software suggestions btw) to stay fit and healthy so we all are able to continue doing what we love... being online!

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  9. It's not just the computer work, but any repeditive motion or sitting in the same way for too long.

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  10. Years ago I knew a lady working at the data-entry dept. of a construction company. She needed to work only a couple more years to retire but all of a sudden she started having problems with her joints, spine etc.

    The last time I saw her - she was walking like a robot, had troubles to walk, sit down and get up and on and on. Of course she never worked again and her life became a constant pain.

    Don't let something like that happen to you!
    Any prolonged forced position can cause all kinds of problems and the only way to prevent them is to exercise, stretch, change positions.

    Our bodies were made for moving, not for sitting down and staring at the screens for hours at the time. Take line dance classes if you can't think of anything else fun to do for your physical you... ;)

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  11. It is so important for us to remember to move and use equipment that helps us to keep our hands and body in the correct position. I have arthritis and use keyboard pads to help me as much as possible, but stretching is key too.

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  12. Wow! The Dragon Naturally speaking sounds wonderful!! We could then blog without Mom's thumbs!! Where can we get it at?
    Your FL furiends,

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  13. I've commented on this post earlier, but I still think this is a wonderful idea.

    Jen

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  14. AnonymousJune 19, 2009

    workrave is great, free and does much of what the paid programs do. workrave.org

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  15. Workrave seems to be a great free tool.

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  16. Workrave You can download it from here.

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  17. Yup Workrave is the way to go.

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