Protect yourself from RSI while you study

woman working at desk

Painful wrists and arms can be caused by long hours of working on the computer.

Studying for the CA qualification and the work required by many training firms of their employees mean that there is potential for repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Fortunately, however, there are many steps you can take to ensure that you protect yourself against the uncomfortable condition.

Symptoms of RSI include tenderness, aches and pain, cramp, stiffness, weakness, tingling, numbness or swelling. It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you experience any of these.

A better approach would be to avoid developing the problem at all in the first place.

Tips to prevent RSI

Don’t sit in the same position for long periods. Short, regular breaks can help prevent RSI and other upper limb disorders.

Build natural breaks into your day if you can, for example, walking to talk to colleagues rather than emailing them.

Making sure your desk equipment is properly set up and adjusted to your needs. Here is some advice from the NHS.

Adjust your keyboard and mouse as well as your chair and monitor height. If you use a laptop, take particular care over your posture and consider using an auxiliary keyboard, mouse and number pad.

Keyboard and mouse suggestions

  • Slowing your mouse response down can reduce muscle tension in your hand.
  • Try “mouse tool” free software. It stops you needing to click the mouse, which some people find painful.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse to navigate.
  • Use the arrow keys on your keyboard’s number pad to move the cursor around the screen.
  • Experiment with your keyboard’s key repeat rate. It can help avoid mistakes that you need to tab back to correct.
  • Predictive text and auto-correct features can save you unnecessary keystrokes.
  • Some people find a standard mouse uncomfortable as it involves twisting the wrist. Alternative mice and other pointing devices are worth investigating.

Alternative designs of keyboards and number pads are available offering different options for wrist angle and hand position.

Consider speech recognition software, which allows you to control your phone or a computer application by using your voice.

Penclic produces a range of products designed to promote a relaxed and natural working position. We have several of their products including a mouse, keyboard and number pad available for to give away for review.

penclic keyboard

Please contact us at studentblog@icas.com if you’re interested in trying out one of these products and reviewing it for your fellow CA students.

Topics

  • CA Student blog

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