Caring for your wrists

Caring for your wrists
Reduce Stress!
◆ Take a break every hour. Do
some relaxation or stretching
exercises or talk with someone
about topics unrelated to work.
Give your body and mind a rest.
◆ Massage your hands and
forearms several times a day with
a vitamin E lotion. The massage
will improve circulation and
break up adhesions. Since you
can’t touch a keyboard until the
lotion is absorbed, it also enforces
a good break.
◆ Massage the muscles in your
neck working your way down
from the skull to the shoulders,
applying more force to the larger
muscles as you go down.
◆ Periodically evaluate your
environment for ways to reduce
stress. Try to keep your desk
uncluttered so you can always
find things. Make sure programs
are set up correctly on the
computer, and see if you can use
a macro program to reduce
◆ When faced with unavoidable
stress, step back and evaluate
your reactions. You can’t
eliminate stress in life, but you
can modify your reactions so they
don’t harm you.
◆ Watch your posture. Your feet
should sit flat on the floor, your
upper and lower legs should
bend at the knee at a right angle,
your back should be slightly
arched and your neck straight,
and your upper and lower arms
should also be at right angles.
Keep your wrists straight, with
the fingers dangling down
◆ Do not crane your head and
shoulders forward to look at the
computer screen—your neck isn’t
designed to hold the weight.
◆ Use a keyboard wrist rest
properly. Your wrists should not
be bent or touch the pad while
you type. Rest your wrists on the
pad only when not typing.
◆ Drink plenty of water regularly
during the day. An inexpensive
Create a Healthy Working Environment
Position monitor 18" to
Don’t let light shine in your
24" away (approximately eyes or on your screen.
arm’s length) and
about 15˚ to 30˚
below your line
of sight.
Forearms 90˚ from
Square screen to your spine.
your line of vision.
Thighs 90˚ from
your spine.
Use a wrist pad to
support your hands
when not typing.
Use a well-made,
adjustable office chair,
preferably with padded,
adjustable arms.
shoulder. The concentration and
breathing are also relaxing.
◆ Rest your eyes by periodically
focussing on distant objects. If
that’s not possible, at least
regularly look away from your
screen. Blink often to keep your
eyes moist. Exercise your eye
muscles by tracing an X in a box;
look as far to the sides as possible.
Reduced eye fatigue reduces stress.
Copyright 1993 TidBITS.
We encourage everyone to copy
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intent is to help as many people in
the world as possible who are at
risk or already suffer from
debilitating hand and wrist pain.
If you know anyone like that,
please send them copies to post
by their computers. You may save
them a lifetime of pain.
Feet flat on the floor.
Brought to you by
bike water bottle will help keep
water at your desk without
chance of spills. Experts recommend six to eight glasses of water
daily. Juice and soda are not
substitutes for pure water, which
makes up approximately 65% of
our bodies.
◆ Get a soft foam ball, hold it in
your hand, and with your palm
turned up gently squeeze ten to
fifteen times. Do this several times
a day with each hand.
◆ Stretch your fingers apart,
trying to make your hand as big
as possible. Hold the stretch for a
few seconds, then curl your
fingers inward without clenching.
Keep your fingers curled for a few
seconds before repeating.
◆ Periodically drop your hands
to your sides and shake them
gently as though you were trying
to shake off drops of water. This
helps restore circulation and
reduce carpal tunnel compression.
◆ Oxygen is good stuff—breathe
more. Yawning regularly (a reflex
action when the body needs more
oxygen) is a good way to provide
more air to the brain and help
calm you. Alternately, try this
breathing exercise every half
hour. Feel your belly bulge out as
you breathe in slowly and deeply;
feel your stomach suck in as you
breathe out, trying to exhale
smoothly and as long as possible.
◆ Periodically stretch your neck.
Concentrate on your breathing
and the way your muscles move
(or don’t move) while you do this
stretch. Exhale slowly and lower
your chin to your chest. Inhale
deeply and raise your chin.
Exhale and move your head back
toward your spine as far as it
wants to go. Inhale and raise your
head. Use the same breathing
pattern to drop your left ear
toward your left shoulder and
then your right ear to your right
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Find out about chord keyboards that might help with carpal tunnel syndrome and
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cards, an incorrect illustration in the PowerBook manual, a superstore rumor, and
how to get that ResEdit template we promised last issue. Enjoy!
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Copyright 1993 TidBITS
Serious wrist problems can seriously mess up your life. You can fight wrist
problems with preventative exercises, better ergonomics, and by reducing stress.
Here are some tips from our own struggles with carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
Adam & Tonya Engst, TidBITS editors
Reduce Stress!
Take a break every
hour. Relax, stretch,
or talk with someone.
your posture.
Squeeze a soft ball.
Massage your
hands, forearms and
the muscles in your
Don’t crane your
head and shoulders
Use a keyboard wrist
rest properly.
Evaluate your
environment for ways Drink plenty of water
to reduce stress.
Learn to change
your reactions to
Stretch and curl your
Drop your hands to
your sides and shake
them gently.
Breathe deeply,
exhale slowly. Yawn.
Stretch your neck.
Rest your eyes.
Check the details on the back…
Copyright 1993 TidBITS
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