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RSI Prevention and Management

Software to Increase Your Computing Performance

 

RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) and OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndrome) prevention software is available from this website. Download Break Reminder to help you take breaks from your computer. There is a free demonstration version available.

 

Setting Up Your Workstation

It is of fundamental importance to have your workstation correctly set up.

 

Exercises and Stretches

We detail some suggestions for you to perform during Micropauses and Rest Breaks. Use Break Reminder to remind you!

 

Setting Up Your Workstation

These are some suggestions and tips to help you set up your workstation and to make the most from your exercise, Micropauses and Rest Breaks.

  1. If your chair does not have a lumbar support use a lumbar roll.

  2. Adjust the backrest angle to suit you - a slightly leaning back position may be most comfortable. Try and avoid a forward lean.

  3. Sit directly facing your screen so that your neck is not twisted.

  4. The keyboard should be at the same height as your elbows (with your shoulders relaxed and your arms hanging down). Your forearms should therefore be level with keyboard.

  5. Think about your shoulders often - especially during your pause times. They should be low and relaxed. You may need to adjust your chair height and use a footrest.

  6. Keep your elbows close to your sides (less than a 20 degrees away from your body).

  7. Keep your wrists straight and flat. They shouldn't be bent upward, downward or to either side by more than 10 degrees.

  8. Your thighs should be about horizontal with no undue pressure on the underside near your knees or on your calves.

  9. Check the position of your screen - your gaze angle to the centre of the screen should be no more than 20 degrees. This can usually be achieved by having the top of your screen at or slightly below eye level. Ideally however it is best to have the screen positioned perpendicular to your line of sight and directly in front of you.

  10. Change your seating position often.

  11. Look away from the screen every now and then and focus on distant objects briefly.

  12. Always stand up to take your exercise break.

  13. Go for a short walk at regular intervals throughout the day.

  14. If possible vary your work tasks throughout the day.

  15. Practice relaxation breathing during your pauses. To help yourself relax, sit quietly and comfortably with your eyes closed.  Focus on your breath coming and going. As you breathe out repeat a sound or word, e.g. out…out…out…

Please note: If any of these suggestions cause you discomfort, please discontinue immediately and seek advice from your doctor.

 

Exercises and Stretches

These are activities that are recommended for you to perform during Micropauses and Rest Breaks.

These are also readily available in Break Reminder. They can also be rapidly accessed using hot keys from Break Reminder. (Ctrl+E)

  1. ARM SHAKES - Sitting upright, drop shoulders into a relaxed position. Let arms hand loosely. Gently shake wrists and arms for the count of 5. Repeat 3 times.

  2. WRIST TURNS - Sitting upright with arms hanging loosely, turn hands around one way until a gentle stretching is felt. Hold that position for the count of 5. Repeat 3 times in each direction.

  3. FINGER SPREAD - Rest forearms on desk top or thighs. Stretch fingers apart and as if trying to make them longer. Hold stretched for 3 counts then relax hand for the count of 5. Repeat 3 times.

  4. FORWARD LEAN - Rest elbows on the thighs near the knees. Let hands hang loosely. Relax shoulders. Breath deeply in the base of the lungs. Stay relaxed in this position for 6 - 8 breaths.

  5. HEAD TURNS - With slight chin tuck, turn head to one side then to the other. Hold for the count of 5 at the end of each turn. Repeat 5 times in each direction.

  6. FORWARD AND BACK - Sitting upright with slight chin tuck, put hands on head with elbows forward. Bend head forward and allow the weight of the hands to add a little stretch. Take hands off head and tip head backwards as far as possible. Hold for the count of 5 at the end of each movement. Repeat 5 times in each direction.

  7. SHOULDER CIRCLES - Sitting upright, hang arms by sides. Roll shoulders in a backward direction. Repeat 10 times.

  8. CHIN TUCKS - Sitting upright, looking straight ahead. Without looking down, glide chin backwards to make a double chin. Hold for the count of 5. Repeat 5 times.

  9. SIDE STRETCH AND HEAD TURN - Sitting upright, chin tucked in, turn head quarter turn to one side. Place the hand on that side on crown of head, hold seat with other hand. Bend head forward until a stretch is felt at the top of the shoulder blade. Hold for the count of 5. Repeat 5 times each side.

  10. SIDE STRETCH - Sitting upright, hold onto the seat with one hand. Place other hand on top of head and gently tip head over to this side. Hold for the count of 5. Repeat 5 times each side.

  11. FLEXOR STRETCH - Hold one arm straight out in front, palm up. Hold the front of the fingers with the other hand. Keeping fingers straight, bend the wrist back until a definite gentle stretch is felt in the forearm and wrist. Hold for 10 counts then relax stretch. Repeat 3 times.

  12. EXTENSOR STRETCH - Rest one elbow on desk top with the thumb of this hand near your nose. Resting the other hand on the first hand, bend the first hand forward until a definite gentle stretch is felt over the back of the wrist. Hold for 10 counts then relax. Repeat 3 times.

  13. BACKWARD STRETCH - Sitting upright with good lower back support, clasp hands together with arms straight above head. Keeping arms straight take them backwards to stretch shoulders and upper back. Hold in stretched position for 5 counts. Repeat 5 times.

  14. BACK BENDING - Standing with feet at shoulder width. Place hands on hips with fingers facing the centre of the back to support the lower spine. Bend backwards as far as possible. Hold this position for 10 counts. Repeat 5 times.

  15. SHOULDER BRACING - Standing, clasp hands behind back. Brace shoulders back so that the shoulder blades move together. Hold at the limit of movement for 5 counts. Repeat 5 times.

Note: If you have had previous injuries, see your medical professional for exercises and stretching specifically for you.

Break Reminder

 


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