RSI and RSI Prevention Resources
Do I Have RSI?
What steps can I take to help prevent RSI?
See the RSI Glossary.
Books on RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
I found the following books partcularly helpful:
This book is cited by almost every other book or article on the topic.
This book argues strongly that you need to look for (and treat) the causes of RSI, rather than just treat an individual symptom. It gets good reader reviews, and at the time of writing is in its sixth printing.
RSI Support Groups
- Facebook has an active RSI Support group tweeting as @RSIsupportgroup.
- There's a local London RSI Support Group, which meets in the pub and tweets occasionally as @LondonRSI.
- Australia's Capital Territory has a non-profit advocacy / support group, RSI and Overuse Injury Association of the ACT. They also have a facebook page.
- RSI: Real Issue, Little Understood is the rathe unlikely name of a small facebook community. If you haven't seen the classic Evolution of Modern Man illustration, it's worth a look.
If you run a support group, let me know using the contact form and I will add it to the list.
An excellent resource is the Typing Injuries FAQ. This contains a wide variety of information about repetitive strain injuries and various resources available for dealing with these ailments.
Paul Marxhausen's Computer Related RSI Page has an extensive book list and links to information on Worker's Compensation.
I've also found Clemens Conrad's rsipain.com site to be a very good source of information. (There's also a German version of this site — see the International Information section below.)
Yale has some good information on workstation ergonomics.
Mice and Mouse Shortcuts
If your "mouse" hand or arm is giving you trouble, then you may want to brush up on your Windows shortcuts. Our free booklet The Reluctant Mouser: A Guide to Windows Keyboard Shortcuts may help you eliminate a lot of mouse usage.
You might also read 10 tips for Computer Mouse Use written by Cornell University's Ergonomics group.
You can also try switching your mouse hand personal experience suggests it takes about a week to become proficient with both hands. Of course, try and eliminate the underlying problems before you do this, or you will end up with two problems instead of one.
JP Office Workstations (an Australian office workstation supplier) has a reasonable summary of ergonomic considerations in a blog enry on RSI. (Not being on the same continent I don't know their office furniture, but if you have the budget it's certainly worth considering whether changes in office furniture might help).
Dutch readers should check out The RSI Center. Alghough aimed at a Dutch audience, it also has a great deal of English language content. UK readers may find The RSI-UK Mailing List helpful. There is also a UK RSI Association. (For UK information also try searching under the term Work Related Upper Limb Disorders.)
For French information, the search terms to try are TMS (troubles musculo-squelettiques) or TMS-RSI. There's also a TMS-RSI discussion group which may be helpful.
For German information, try Clemens Conrad's repetitive-strain-injury.de.
Our RSI glossary page lists some of the other terms used for RSI around the world.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety prefers the term WMSD (Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders) to RSI. Nevertheless, they have a good introductory page which describes RSI both in a computer and non-computer context.
In New Zealand, RSI is known as Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS). The OOS Injuries page has some good resources specifically for NZ readers.
The old usenet RSI news group misc.health.injuries.rsi.moderated may be dead, but it's Frequently Asked Questions lives on, frozen in time in 1998.
If you are looking for software to help you to remember to take regular RSI prevention breaks while using the computer, our checklist may help. Obviously as authors of the successful RSI break reminder program Albion StopNow! we cannot be entirely neutral in deciding which features are the most important.
Design for Ergonomics and RSI Prevention
If you are interested in designing a work environment or user interface to reduce the risk of RSI, you probably should consider employing specialist consultants. Usernomics is one company that recently came to our attention. For an introductory guide to ergonomics you might also want to read Ergonomics for Beginners.
Broken Link or Missing Resource?
If you know of a resource I should add to this page, please let me know using our Contact Form.
(I'm currently putting together some information about RSI from an employer's perspective. Suggestions for additional things an employer should know would also be welcome.)