lundi 23 novembre 2009

Painful business

When Business Becomes Painful
November 16, 2009 · 29 comments

For the last month or so I have been quietly suffering from RSI (repetitive strain injury).

So I thought I’d post this to prevent you from experiencing what I’ve been suffering with since the end of September.

If you have an online business (or are trying to start one), no doubt you use the computer more than you ever have, so it’s important you pay attention to your habits now.

It started with discomfort in my forearm, wrist and the back of my hand (especially when mousing and typing). At first I thought it was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Fortunately it wasn’t, but RSI can be just as debilitating and cause as many problems if not addressed.

Turns out this could have been avoided with proper workstation ergonomics. I’ve always heard the word “ergonomics” and knew what it meant, but ignored it because I was not having any problems. And unfortunately most people don’t realize something is wrong UNTIL they feel the pain.

The Problem
I was typing with my hands slightly angled up while my wrists rest on the wrist pad instead of raising them so they are parallel to the floor. My posture was also very poor. This was causing strain on my forearms and hands. Ouch!

I also have a tendency to hold my pinky out and erect when typing fast, so that was also causing additional strain on my forearm. Typing fast and hard can also cause strain because you use your muscles more for speed and you have a tendency to stiffen everything up.

I was definitely the poster child for improper ergonomics and what NOT to do when typing.

Fortunately for me, my symptoms seem to be getting better thanks to improved workstation ergonomics, plenty of rest from the computer, hot and cold compresses and lots of stretching. (Epsom salt baths also work wonders!)

I feel so blessed to have a “job” that allows me to work when I want, so the rest has really helped me heal. I wanted to post this today to prevent you from going through the pain I’ve been experiencing.

Listen to your body. If you feel a slight pain or stiffening in your joints then the problem is already here, and it’s just a matter of it getting worse if you don’t correct what you’re doing wrong. Also, see your doctor for the proper diagnosis and don’t assume it will just go away.

Take care of yourselves now before you end up with a nagging injury you cannot correct later. Who cares about making a ton of money online if you’re in too much pain to enjoy it!

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