I’m wondering if other people have thoughts on setting up an ergonomic workspace, and other strategies for avoiding repetitive stress injuries. I have worked for several years as a CAD drafter and am now transitioning into web design. I have periodically had bouts of numb feelings in my wrists. I want to avoid more serious problems.
Any thoughts on things that have helped other people:
-what mouse/keyboard you use–do you use trackball or regular mouse, ergonomic keyboard or a regular keyboard
-chair/desk thoughts–do you use a pull out tray for keyboard that tilts and adjusts freely, and/or have some sort of special chair
-exercises you do–do you stop work every so often to do any exercises
-therapy–do you go every month or other time frame to a chiropractor or other type of therapist
-other–do you wear a brace or do anything else that helps
I can only speak for myself, but here is what I do that has also been tempered with advice from professionals.
More than anything, make sure that you adjust your space so that you are not tensing up. In other words, working must be comfortable while relaxing your muscles or something is off. Everyone is different, so it’s not a solid formula, so toy with monitor & mouse/keyboard height and distance until you get a good balance.
Make sure you get up and walk around for at least 30 seconds every half hour to an hour. Your lower back compresses when you sit, and if you do not get up, you run the risk of injuring yourself just bending down too quickly.
I don’t have a brace of anything, but what I do is practice with those chinese medicine balls – the large ones you roll in your hands – for about 10 minutes a day. I’ve coded / designed for about 8 years and have had sit down jobs where I type all day for most of my working life and I’ve never had any problems with repetitive stress pain.