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Ergonomics and Typing Injury FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about ergonomics and associated injuries and their treatment

This FAQ about Ergonomics and Typing Injuries was compiled and written by Dan Wallach dwallach@cs.princeton.edu with numerous contributions by others.

The Typing Injury FAQ (frequently asked questions) is a multipart document targetted at computer users suffering at the hands of their equipment. You'll find pointers to resources all across the net, general information on injuries, and detailed information on numerous adaptive products. The full documents are posted on a number of newsgroups such as sci.med.occupational as well as available via FTP and WWW servers across the globe.

This document cites recent changes to the Typing Injury FAQ as well as other online information. Due to its (hopefully) shorter length, this document gets a much wider audience of mailing lists and such.

For those of you who've been paying attention, it's been nearly four months since I last posted this. Well, the summer was pretty weird, but I should be back to normal again. My marathon FAQ updating session was made possible by:

* Thompson Twins, Into The Gap * G. Love and Special Sauce, G. Love and Special Sauce * They Might Be Giants, Apollo 18 * Live, Throwing Copper * Lyle Lovett, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band

-01 1. Publications
CTDNews is a monthly newsletter that covers cumulative trauma disorder....
-02 2. FTP & Gopher & WWW sites
world.std....
-03 3. Listserv Mailing Lists
Sorehand is a San Francisco-based listserv mailing list for people ...
-04 4. Usenet Newsgroups
misc.health.therapy....
-05 5. Real-time chatting
If you've got an account on America On-Line, you might want to check ...
-06 6. Books / Literature
A large amount has been written in the popular press and the ...
-07 The ftp.csua.berkeley.edu archive
Check out the ever-increasing typing injury archive! Just use anonymous ftp ...
-08 General info on injuries
First, and foremost of importance: if you experience pain at all, then ...
-09 Why does Occupational Overuse Syndrome occur?
Here's the theory....
-10 Specific injuries you may have heard of
(note: most injuries come in two flavors: acute and chronic. Acute injuries ...
-11 Typing posture, ergonomics, prevention, treatment
The most important element of both prevention and recovery is to reduce ...
-12 Posture - some basic guidelines
[I so liked the way this was written in the New Zealand book that I'm ...
-13 Keyboard drawers, wrist pads, and keyboard replacements:
There is a fair amount of controvery on how to get this right. For some people,...
-14 1. What is "ergonomics"?
A. Ergonomics is the science of adjusting your work environment to ...
-15 2. What is the best room lighting to help reduce eye strain?
A. A mixture of fluorescent and incandescent light is usually ...
-16 3. What is the best position for the monitor at my workstation?
A. Many make the common mistake of putting the monitor, the keyboard, ...
-17 4. Is there an optimum height for my monitor?
A. Yes. The top of the monitor should be at eye level because the eyes ...
-18 5. Is there an optimum screen brightness and color scheme to help prevent eye strain?
A. Black characters against a light gray background are often easiest ...
-19 6. What other accessories and placement are important?
A. Frequently used items should be within arms reach from your ...
-20 7. What is the most healthy posture for my wrists while typing?
A. The best position is neutral. In other words, the knuckles, wrist, ...
-21 8. Can a wrist pad sitting in front of the keyboard be used during keyboarding?
A. The neutral position described in #7 can not be achieved while ...
-22 9. What is the best elbow and shoulder position while keyboarding?
A. The elbows should form a 90 degree angle while *hanging* at your ...
-23 10. What is the best seat height for keyboarding?
A. It is most important that seat height should allow the upper ...
-24 11. What should I look for in the backrest of a chair?
A. Expensive motors and adjustable sections are not necessary if ...
-25 12. What other characteristics of a chair are important?
A. The seat of the chair should be large enough to accommodate ...
-26 13. How often should I change positions and take breaks during keyboarding?
A. You should change your sitting position at least every 15 minutes....
-27 14. What is an "active break" and a "microbreak"?
A. An active break occurs when you stop keyboarding to do other ...
-28 15. What are some of the best exercises for keyboarding microbreaks while seated?
A. The Shoulder Blade Squeeze is performed by raising your forearms ...
-29 16. I've heard many names for keyboard injuries. What do they all mean?
A. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a description of an injury ...
-30 17. Advice by Health Care Practitioners often includes a collection of erms from a kinesiology course. Which ones do I need to know to help identify my own workstation ergonomic problems?
A. Standing with the arms at your sides, palms facing forward, ...
-31 18. Why does it seem like RSI from keyboarding has become such a big problem recently?
A. One reason why RSI is becoming more prevalent is because computers ...
-32 19. What lifestyle changes can I make to reduce the chances of RSI?
A. Two main themes permeate ergonomic study of RSI prevention; posture ...
-33 Occupational Overuse Syndrome References
Much of the information here is derived from a wonderful guide produced in ...
-34 Keyboard Alternatives
Information in this FAQ has been pieced together from phone conversations,...
-35 Keyboard Alternatives: Using a PC's keyboard on your workstation / compatibility issues
What kind of computer are you using? Macintosh, X terminal, NeXT, SGI, ...
-36 "Normal" keyboards - things that look like "standard" QWERTY keyboards
GIF pictures of many of these keyboards can be found via anonymous ...
-37 Apple Adjustable Keyboard
Apple Computer, Inc....
-38 Comfort Keyboard System
Health Care Keyboard ...
-39 DataHand
DataHand Systems, Inc. ...
-40 ergoLogic Model 7.1
ErgoLogic Enterprises, Inc....
-41 Ergo Max
Maxi Switch, Inc....
-42 FlexPro Keyboard
Key
-43 Generic Split Keyboard (from Taiwan)
Apparently, this keyboard is manufactured by Nan Tan Computer in Taipei,...
-44 Fountain Hills FH-101
Fountain Hills ...
-45 ErgoMaster
Genovation, Inc....
-46 Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard
Kinesis ...
-47 Lexmark Model M13 (Select-Ease)
Lexmark Corporation (a spinoff of IBM)...
-48 Light Link
This is an infra-red cordless keyboard with the standard 101-key ...
-49 Maltron
P.C.D. Maltron ...
-50 Microsoft Natural Keyboard
Microsoft ...
-51 MiniErgo
Marquardt Switches Inc....
-52 The MyKey
ErgonomiXX, Inc....
-53 Somers EK1 Ergonomic Keyboard
Somers ...
-54 The Tony! Ergonomic KeySystem
The Tony! ...
-55 The Vertical
Jeffrey Spencer or Stephen ...
-56 The Wave
Iocomm International ...
-57 AccuKey
AccuCorp, Inc....
-58 Aria Listener
Prometheus Products Inc....
-59 The Bat
Infogrip, Inc....
-60 Braille 'n Speak
Blazie ...
-61 DataEgg
InHand Development ...
-62 DragonDictate
Dragon Systems, Inc....
-63 Half-QWERTY
The Matias ...
-64 IBM VoiceType Dictation (formerly Personal Dictation System)
IBM
-65 IN3 (in-cube) Voice Command
Command Corp, Inc....
-66 KeyBreak
New Zealand Electronic ...
-67 Kurzweil VOICE
Kurzweil Applied Intelligence, Inc....
-68 Listen for Windows
Verbex Voice Systems Inc....
-69 Microwriter AgendA
Microwriter Services ...
-70 The Minimal Motion Computer Access System
Equal Access Computer ...
-71 Octima
Ergoplic Keyboards Ltd....
-72 OfficeTalk for WordPerfect
Kolvox Communications Inc....
-73 Power Secretary
Articulate ...
-74 Rover for Windows
Digital Soup Inc....
-75 Step On It!
Bilbo Innovations, Inc....
-76 Telaccount Speech Recognizer for Windows
Telaccount Inc....
-77 Twiddler
-78 Keyboard Contributors
Thanks go to Chris Bekins for providing ...
-79 Software Tools to help with RSI
This file describes tools, primarily software, to help prevent or manage RSI....
-80 Typing management tools
Typing management tools aim to help you manage your keyboard use, by ...
-81 Activity Monitoring Program (commercial software)
Available from:...
-82 At Your Service (commercial software)
Available ...
-83 Coffee Break (shareware)
Available via anonymous ...
-84 Computer Health Break (commercial software)
Available ...
-85 DOS Stretch (commercial software)
Available ...
-86 Exercise Break [formerly StressFree] (shareware)
Available ...
-87 EyerCise (commercial software)
Available ...
-88 Lifeguard (commercial software)
Available ...
-89 PC-FIT User-Saver (commercial software, free slideshow demo)
Available ...
-90 Plug-In for Windows (shareware), version 2.11
Available ...
-91 Typewatch (freeware), version 3.11 (September 1993)
Available ...
-92 Various calendar / batch queue programs
Available ...
-93 Digital watches with count-down timers
Available ...
-94 Keyboard and mouse control tools
Keyboard control tools enable you to change your keyboard mapping so you ...
-95 hsh (public domain)
Available via anonymous ...
-96 Dvorak keyboard tools (various)
Available ...
-97 AccessDOS, Access Pack for Windows (free commercial software)
Available ...
-98 PowerClicks, Mouse2 (shareware)
Available via anonymous ...
-99 Rumors and calls for information
As I've currently got my needs for a comfortable workstation reasonably ...
-100 Ergonomics References
Most of the information presented here is quotes from the net, ...
-101 Furniture Information
OK, what we have here is a list of all the manufacturers of computer ...
-102 Anthro Technology Furniture
-103 Backsaver
Holliston, MA. Phone: 800-251-2225....
-104 Bretford Mobile workstations
These are basically a set of tubular frames carts on casters. Most ...
-105 Communicore CAD system
This is a corner type workstation - designed to be placed facing into ...
-106 Ergotron
This is a line of ergonomic workstations and dense pack racks ...
-107 Hon computer furniture (66000 series)
This is essentially a set of tables which match one another. Under ...
-108 Image Setter Workstation
This is a pretty complete modular workstation. It includes tables with ...
-109 Mayline/Hamilton
There are two lines of furniture from Mayline/Hamilton:...
-110 Tiffany Office Furniture
This is a line of stands and carts; there is a basic workstation ...
-111 Ultra View, Ultra View Plus, and Ergo Pro workstations
In overall appearance, these units are similar to many particle ...
-112 VariTask Workcenter
This is a fully adjustable two surface workstation. The keyboard ...
-113 VertiWorks
VertiWorks is a freestanding, modular system which allows things ...
-114 WorkManager System
This is a line of tables, corner units, dividers and accessories which ...
-115 Husk office furniture and supplies
-116 Ergotron
-117 MISCO
-118 Global Computer Supplies
-119 Forminco International
-120 Foster Manufacturing Company
-121 WorkRite









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