RSI

Working on a computer for several hours a day is fast becoming the norm for many workers around the world. As people use computers more and more, they open themselves up to several new ailments. One such ailment is Repetitive Strain Injury, or RSI. RSI is especially dangerous if you make your living from working on computers, as many engineers and developers do. Ideally, you’re supposed to take frequent breaks and move away from the computer to relax yourself and relieve stress.

I’m sure if you’re reading this, you know how difficult that can be once you get into the grove of something.

I’m a big fan of anything that let’s me fall into the pit of success, so to speak. One way to do that with RSI is to use one of the many Anti-RSI programs available for your computer. My favorite app for OS X is AntiRSI. it’s a old program, but it works great. It’s very simple to install and take up very few resources while running in the background.

The gist is this: AntiRSI keeps track of how long you’ve been using your computer. This means keystrokes and mouse movements. At certain short intervals, it will suggest a “Micro-Pause.” This micro-pause is short, usually 10 seconds, and forces you to stop using your computer for the length of the pause. If you type or move your mouse, the counter starts over. After 4-5 micro-pauses, AntiRSI will suggest a short break. This is an 8 minute break every 60 minutes of usage. Against, the counter only counts down while you’re not using your computer. So stand up, walk around and come back refeshed. Of course, if you’re cranking on something, unlike the micro-pauses, you can postpone the short breaks a few minutes. Also, the time intervals and break lengths are completely configurable.

Whatever you do, take RSI seriously, otherwise, you could lose your ability to work on a computer. If you’re like me, that’s certainly a scary thought,