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Poll: Have you ever suffered from repetitive strain injury as a result of working on a computer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Mar 19, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever suffered from repetitive strain injury as a result of working on a computer?".

This poll was originally submitted by Lenah Susianty. View the poll results »



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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... Mar 19, 2015

have done, still do and voice recognition software helps

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Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:49
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
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voice recognition Mar 19, 2015

I've tried to buy a voice recognition software, the problem is not the price of the software but the training (which the software company insisted I had to have)! it is just so expensive!

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
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Yes Mar 19, 2015

Right shoulder/elbow/wrist.

Cured (-ish) by switching mouse to left hand, dictating first drafts and doing lots of swimming/cycling/gymming.

If I translated into a language with no speech recognition software available, I would dictate into a machine and get it typed up. Or change career.


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Epameinondas Soufleros  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 16:49
Member (2008)
English to Greek
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Mechanical keyboard Mar 19, 2015

Another solution could be a mechanical keyboard.

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has its own mechanism (a switch with a spring in it), as opposed to all keys sharing a membrane beneath them. This allows the typist to type without bottoming out the keys, which is good for your fingertips, since they are not constantly tapping against a rigid surface (the board beneath the keys).

I have bought one and I can feel the difference. It was costly, but it is surely worth it. And it will last many more years than a membrane keyboard, so it is money well spent, I think. Look it up.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:49
Spanish to English
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Other Mar 19, 2015

I was starting to get twinges in my wrists and upper back, but it got better after I started using speech recognition SW. I now type much less, and in a different way.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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No! Mar 19, 2015

My ailments have nothing to do with working on a computer, but all to do with genetics (an unfortunate inheritance) and the effects of a total thyroidectomy (calcium imbalance). I had a few years ago two episodes of periarthritis shoulder (“frozen shoulder”) which were treated by corticosteroid injection, followed by physiotherapy and symptomatic treatment. Each time, I manage to recover the full function of the shoulder in 2 months. Since then I’m very attentive to the symptoms…

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:49
English to Spanish
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Vote up! Mar 19, 2015

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

Another solution could be a mechanical keyboard.

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has its own mechanism (a switch with a spring in it), as opposed to all keys sharing a membrane beneath them. This allows the typist to type without bottoming out the keys, which is good for your fingertips, since they are not constantly tapping against a rigid surface (the board beneath the keys).

I have bought one and I can feel the difference. It was costly, but it is surely worth it. And it will last many more years than a membrane keyboard, so it is money well spent, I think. Look it up.


I bought my mechanical keyboard, a MaxKeyboard X8, for $140 (dollars) about 3 months ago. It's far more comfortable to type, and painless to boot.

The only downside? Two weeks after I purchased my model, MaxKeyboards ran a 50% rebate. Grrr!

Buying good equipment for work is like purchasing good shoes or a good cashmere sweater: you can't skimp as your feet need good support and your body needs warmth from a well-made sweater, not one that will pill away after use.

My mechanical keyboard has backlit illumination as well, which I can regulate with Fn + numeric 8: less intense or more intense. Very useful without being intrusive.

Beware of those so-called ergonomic pieces of plastic keyboards, shaped in funky shapes. Read about true ergonomic stuff, not just the manufacturer's brochure.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:49
English to Spanish
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Speaking of injuries Mar 19, 2015

In 1997, I was scared stiff because of the painful wrists and elbows. I went to a hand surgeon, who dismissed my worst fears and told me I had overused some muscles. After 10 days of therapy and at-home exercises (which I sometimes do), the pain was gone. Gone, I tell you!

If you folks also suffer from elbow, neck, shoulder pain, etc., please see a specialist. While you wait, exercise. Stay away from happy promises of quick remedies.


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Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Cuba
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
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MODERATOR
Yep Mar 19, 2015

I got an RSI on my left wrist a couple of years ago, but I'm sure it's not due only to typing, which I do a lot, but also to playing the guitar. I'm playing a lot less now, since I have very little time. I'm right handed, so it would be logical if the RSI were on my mouse hand if it were due to using the computer.

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:49
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
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Does a brain tumor count? Mar 19, 2015

I use my brain a lot, at least while I'm working, anyway (we needn't discuss the rest of the time, must we?).
Currently getting it microwaved/radiated on a daily basis for a low-grade glioma about the size of a walnut,
right smack in the language part of the right, frontal lobe, I'm told (probably caused by too much revision of nasty MT texts?).
Doc says I've got a darned good chance of beating it, which is good, and so far, I can still read and speak 4 languages.

I've also had carpal tunnel issues in my wrist, which I resolved by wearing a brace on the wrist for a while, and adjusting my posture and typing.


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:49
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
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use the right equipment, indeed Mar 19, 2015

Mario Chavez wrote:
Buying good equipment for work is like purchasing good shoes or a good cashmere sweater: you can't skimp as your feet need good support and your body needs warmth from a well-made sweater, not one that will pill away after use.


I have to agree 100% with this.

I wear proper running shoes when I run (40 to 50 miles/week), and I'm very picky about my keyboards.
Also, I've learned to build my own computers from parts. I can put together an $800 computer by buying $300 worth of parts. It pays to know your equipment.
You get a lot more "bang for your buck" that way.
I've also written my own software for project management, and for logging my running workouts (and other stuff).
The more you know about how your work tools function, the better performance you can wring from them without breaking the bank.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Never Mar 19, 2015

I've been typing and keyboarding for more than half a century. I had no idea my choice of keyboard might have been a factor.

I always insisted on having a mechanical keyboard for as long as I can remember. And I've never had a problem with hand, wrist, or arm strain. My current keyboard (it was expensive) feels as if I'm tickling a cloud.

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

Another solution could be a mechanical keyboard.

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has its own mechanism (a switch with a spring in it), as opposed to all keys sharing a membrane beneath them. This allows the typist to type without bottoming out the keys, which is good for your fingertips, since they are not constantly tapping against a rigid surface (the board beneath the keys).

I have bought one and I can feel the difference. It was costly, but it is surely worth it. And it will last many more years than a membrane keyboard, so it is money well spent, I think. Look it up.


Also, I keep my wrists raised - I was taught to play the piano at an early age, so that position has always been the most comfortable one for me. I can see how typing with the wrists dropped could lead to strain.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:49
English to Spanish
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Keeping wrists raised Mar 19, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I've been typing and keyboarding for more than half a century. I had no idea my choice of keyboard might have been a factor.

I always insisted on having a mechanical keyboard for as long as I can remember. And I've never had a problem with hand, wrist, or arm strain. My current keyboard (it was expensive) feels as if I'm tickling a cloud.

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

Another solution could be a mechanical keyboard.

Each key on a mechanical keyboard has its own mechanism (a switch with a spring in it), as opposed to all keys sharing a membrane beneath them. This allows the typist to type without bottoming out the keys, which is good for your fingertips, since they are not constantly tapping against a rigid surface (the board beneath the keys).

I have bought one and I can feel the difference. It was costly, but it is surely worth it. And it will last many more years than a membrane keyboard, so it is money well spent, I think. Look it up.


Also, I keep my wrists raised - I was taught to play the piano at an early age, so that position has always been the most comfortable one for me. I can see how typing with the wrists dropped could lead to strain.


The reason why the straight wrist posture is best is this: the wrist has to be kept at a neutral position (that's why we are supposed to raise it a bit, not angle it down at desk level), according to what every physical therapist has told me.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Piano Mar 19, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I was taught to play the piano at an early age, so that position has always been the most comfortable one for me. I can see how typing with the wrists dropped could lead to strain.


My mother was a professional pianist and she always exercised her fingers as a warm up before touching the piano. That stayed with me…


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