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Poll: Have you ever suffered from keyboard related "repetitive strain injuries"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:30
SITE STAFF
Aug 11, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever suffered from keyboard related "repetitive strain injuries"?".

This poll was originally submitted by Athanasios Fidiarakis

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:30
Member
English to French
No Aug 12, 2006

And I am no longer at risk since I have been using voice recognition software!
Philippe


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xxxIanW
Local time: 06:30
German to English
+ ...
Voice recognition Aug 12, 2006

I used voice recognition for easy jobs that require fast typing, which takes some of the strain off my hands and arms - I can't imagine using it all the time, though. I am also careful about using the mouse too much, and if it is absolutely necessary, I alternate the fingers I use.

It's good that we as a profession are so aware of this problem, though.


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Leticia Klemetz, CT  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:30
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
what about CAT tools? Aug 12, 2006

Philippe Etienne wrote:

And I am no longer at risk since I have been using voice recognition software!
Philippe


Can you combine voice recongnition software with Trados? I've never dared trying...


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Kalinka Hristova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 07:30
Member (2007)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Computers do harm... Aug 12, 2006

Unfortunately computers do harm, but I can hardly imagine working without them. Yes, my wrists hurt, even though it is not "repetitive strain injury" (yet).
However, my eyes suffer, too. Every time I go to the doctor, he finds something new, but... what can I do?
And still computers make my life easier...


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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:30
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
25+ years, now bursitis Aug 12, 2006

Reading about carpal tunnel syndrome, I always felt above it all, but after 25 years am now beginning to experience the effects of bursitis (pain in my right shoulder joint). When I grip the mouse, the pain goes right to my shoulder (not wrist or elbow).
My mother went through this 20 years ago and recovered the use of her shoulder largely through exercise, so I am guessing that it is heriditary, but solvable. That was at age 50; at age 70+ she had to have a rotator cuff operation, which worked out okay. Recently in the New Yorker (ads) I read that there are drinks (neutraceuticals) available in the US to help people avoid joint problems - e.g., from Cargill. Any experience out there?


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 00:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Yes, you can Aug 13, 2006

Leticia Klemetz wrote:

Philippe Etienne wrote:

And I am no longer at risk since I have been using voice recognition software!
Philippe


Can you combine voice recongnition software with Trados? I've never dared trying...


There is a Yahoo discussion group out there that addresses Speech Recognition for translators.

I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking for easy jobs, e.g. ones I can practically "sight translate". I find that if I have to do a lot of thinking or formatting, the Speech Recognition software is more of a hindrance than a help.

Reed


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 00:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Once Aug 13, 2006

Once I had a particularly long job and my left hand went stiff for about 2 days. Since then, nothing has happened.

Nevertheless, for the eyes, back, hands and brain, there is nothing like a day off. I take them especially after finishing a long job. I turn off my computer and go for a stroll or shopping for whatever I didn't have time to buy while I was meeting a deadline.

Reed


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Heike Reagan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:30
Member (2004)
German to English
Ongoing Aug 13, 2006

My hand and wrist joints do hurt most days.
I have downloaded stretchware, which is really helping, and am starting to train my voice recognition program...
Hope this will help some!

Heike


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:30
English to German
+ ...
It got better after I bought a laptop Aug 13, 2006

Now I can move my wireless "work place" around - I can work on my desk, the kitchen table, the table on the porch, even while sitting on the floor. Before that, I had developed serious problems in wrists and shoulders. Even the draft from an open window would cause pain in my wrist. Now I can place my laptop on top of a phonebook, simply to change the angle or do whatever to avoid fixed body posture.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:30
English to French
+ ...
Touchpad... arggggh! Aug 13, 2006

I have not had any injuries so far, but my right (mouse) wrist does hurt. I often feel that it is somehow "stuck" in a certain position. I can literally feel the bones being misplaced after I'm done working and start doing something else, like cooking. My wrist doesn't seem to want to go back to its normal configuration. Bad signs, indeed...

I work on a laptop most of the time, and what is even worse with laptops than with desktops is that instead of the mouse, you have a touchpad. In the case of the mouse, the left mouse button is placed so that your thumb can reach it fairly easily and you can click it with an outstretched thumb. But with a touchpad, you have to curl your thumb up to be able to click, which puts even more stress on the thumb, and therefore, on the wrist.

Two pieces of advice:

If you start working on a laptop, get yourself a mouse and DON'T use the touchpad.

If you really care about your physical health, get yourself speech recognition software.

Oh, and if you do use a mouse, learn your keyboard shortcuts. Your wrist will thank you - and you get the added benefit of actually being faster.

May I remind all of you that, while our friends and family think we have the job of the century and believe that we are all so comfortable while we work, translation in itself, and freelancing even more, do put a lot of strain on our whole body, much more actually than most other jobs. It's imperceptible to the naked eye since we are just sitting in front of a computer and we do look comfortable. But in a while, our eyes, wrists, backs and even our legs start deteriorating.

Speechs recognition is a couple hundred dollars, a good office chair is a couple hundred dollars, a good mouse is a couple dozen dollars and reading glasses are a couple hundred dollars - but your health is priceless. And trust me, once you start having problems, there is no way you can ever get completely rid of them.

So what's your pick? A one-time thousand-dollar investment and good health, or saving the money and being in a miserable shape for the rest of your life?


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 01:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, I have already mentioned this Aug 13, 2006

I suffer from translation elbow.

Au


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:30
French to English
+ ...
once Aug 16, 2006

I'm 'fortunate' that my main activities are all bad for me physically in some way - translating (typing) and playing viola. The playing is a very asymmetrical thing to do and puts strain on all kinds of places, which can do damage if one isn't careful.

Just one episode of injury, though - there was one week a few years ago when I was working full-time as a secretary doing mostly touch-typing of medical reports, and playing in a week-long run of opera performances in the evening. By the end of the week I had compression bandages on both wrists and arms in order to get through the evenings of playing. After that, I had to rest completely for a while (though I still had to do the typing job) and the problem has not recurred. Decent office furniture and viola practice to improve my technique has been the secret, I think!


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Janis Abens  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 07:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
Be careful Aug 16, 2006

Even though I use DNS and VoiceXpress, in Swedish, I find that it is often more convernient to type, for a quick note etc.
For big jobs I always use DNS, even if Im not translating aloud, I command DVX with voice commands and combine with keyboard.
I started to get what I thought was RSI (pain and numbness in arm), turned out to be a herniated disc in my neck.
In any case, bad ergonomy was a contributing malefactor.
Dont ignore the signals, find a comfortable position for every joint in your body.
It almost shocks me to imagine a translator actually pecking at a laptop to generate text. There is probably no ergonomic way to do that.


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
carpal tunnel syndrome Aug 17, 2006

Twice!!! One right now... it doesn't restrain me from working with the computer but it does from other activities such as writing with a pen, opening a bottle or simple grabbing something.

As I have learnt, it has to do with working long hours with the computer but also with pregnancy. In fact the first time I suffered from it was last summer. I had just delivered my baby and I got massages twice a week for a couple of months, put ice on my wrist every night before going to sleep and it eventually got "cured".

Now I'm pregnant again and I've been suffering from it over the last 3 weeks... don't know how long it will last but I won't be able to hold my babies (I'm expecting twins next month) when they are born
My physio(therapist) says that having surgery is not the best option... since only 1 out 10 get it "fixed". So for now... it's just massages, holding my hand up in the air, ice before going to sleep and trying to sleep with my hand "higher" than my heart...


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