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RSI-request

Dear Lazyweb,

Has anyone come across any papers on RSI and keyboard styles? I mean real actual research, not just "I tried it and it worked for me" — the plural of anecdote is not data. I know that generic el-cheapo keyboards are a bad idea, especially with the back end hiked up, and I've seen conflicting reports on QWERTY-vs-DVORAK. I'm currently using the (discontinued, apparently) Logitech UltraX, which is noteable for being a full-size proper keyboard that happens to use laptop keycaps/springs. Personally, I prefer it to the £1.50 crapware we suffer with at work, but was wondering if it's a sensible choice for RSI-avoidance or whether a bucking spring Model-M-alike would be a better choice?

Ta,

Stew

[I had more to say, but this is enough of a question for now.]

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( 13 informants — We want information! )
zombywuf
Dec. 18th, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
Any papers I've seen on RSI seem to fall into 2 categories:
1) The author is a technophobe
2) The author is receiving kickbacks from $WE_MAKE_RSI_RELATED_PRODUCTS

The only things I've seen which gave the impression of reliability all suggested that a good chair properly adjusted, along with a monitor at the right height, is the most important factor. None of them left a big enough impression for me to remember the titles.

On the anecdotal side, as a long term computer addict with the World Worst Posture(TM), the only thing which ever makes me hurt (other than lower back pain) is a lot of switching between mouse and kb.
spacelem
Dec. 18th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Using a mouse gives me a numb forearm and pinky, but using a keyboard is generally not an issue. Hence why keyboard shortcuts rule, and poorly designed GUIs don't.

I've never seen any conclusive evidence that dvorak is better than qwerty, other than a few anecdotes. They are fairly convincing anecdotes however.
digitalraven
Dec. 18th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
Keyboarding on said UltraX is fine for a day, keying on a standard Dell PoS gives me painful wrists by early afternoon.

My anecdotes on DVORAK indicate that it's worse because there's not the range of finger movement that there is when using QWERTY. Its supposed benefits are the supposed problem.
galaxy_girl00
Dec. 19th, 2006 09:52 am (UTC)
Demand a DSE risk assessment at work. They are liable for ensuring you don't develop an RSI. They might give you one of the split keyboards so you can try them out.
digitalraven
Dec. 19th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
I've tried split keyboards — they're hateful, hideous abominations that should be removed with high explosives.

I am going to raise my monitor and mention DSE to anyone who mentions it. For me, chair isn't so much a problem (back isn't brought on by posture rather extremes of extension) but view-height and keyboard are. Especially the hard-contact at bottom of keypress required to generate a character on a generic POS. Laptop keys feel better (but I dunno if there's a scientific background), bucking spring likewise, because in both cases finger speed is moderated before striking a hard surface.
galaxy_girl00
Dec. 19th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah only other thing I can reccomend is a wrist rest. The gel filled kind are the best.

However wrist strain can often be caused by your posture rather than the keyboard.

You obviously use your keyboard a lot. I'll have a look at my notes and photocopy some info for you if you like? I can bring it to the pub tonight if your gonna make it.
digitalraven
Dec. 18th, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
That's the problem I've found with RSI papers, hence the questioning.

Bugger. Should work on the posture at work, I think.
zombywuf
Dec. 18th, 2006 11:00 pm (UTC)
I raised my monitor so it's centre was level with my eyes when I sat bolt upright, most of my back problems went away after that. I'm guessing your $ORK wouldn't allow that though, unauthorised equipment modification and such like.
galaxy_girl00
Dec. 19th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
That sounds more like a chair problem. The top of your monitor should be at eye level as your natural field of vision is 30 degrees downwards.

Check that your chair supports your lumber (the small of your back) properly if not you may need either a new chair or a special cushion. This will force you to sit properly.
zombywuf
Dec. 19th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC)
(Insert rant about work #8427)

Most of the chairs were appropriated from where-ever was cheap/free. Buying new comfortable ones would have been not-a-business-goal. Sharp edges due to broken arms and sitting on one side lest the bolt shear and send you flying were the norm.

As some one who can comfortably read a monitor at a distance of 6 inches for several hours this solution worked pretty well.
galaxy_girl00
Dec. 19th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC)
They can get grants from the job center access to work to pay for specialist chairs.

At the end of the day it will cost them more if your off sick with a bad back and sue them, than to buy new chairs.

It's the law that DSE risk assessments must be carried out.
aarondb
Dec. 18th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
I swear to God, it's like you don't even speak English any more.

Are you... are you a cyborg?
digitalraven
Dec. 18th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
Would a cyborg write a cutesy parody of his main pulp action hero?

Err...
( 13 informants — We want information! )

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