PITA - Pain in the Arms + Wrists, Fingers - RSI / Carpal Tunnel

PITA - Pain in the Arms + Wrists, Fingers - RSI / Carpal Tunnel

If you are like me, you have been furiously (for whatever reason) typing away much of your life - resulting in pain in the arms, wrist or fingers (Think RSI and Carpal Tunnel etc.). Whether you are a programmer or a “busy” emailer, you will encounter this issue at some point.

I have tried all remedies - addressing internal (hand, wrist posture, breaks) as well as external (standup desks, ‘ergonomic’ keyboards, mechanical long-travel keyboards, vertical/horizontal/handheld mice) etc. with limited success. This includes being one of the first testers of Twiddler in late 90s and flirting with the Dvorak layout

While posture and the like do help - if you are consistent/diligent, it is much easier to buy/install things than change behaviour :)

One of the things I have considered is voice dictation software - this is suitable for typing plain English as well as handling most of the app/window management - but falls way short of what is needed for programming. There is also the social impact of being seen saying things like ‘var a colon bool equals …’ and so on.

I shudder to think - if someone who is physically able - is finding working in a tech job so hard, how much harder it would be for someone who is visually, physically impaired..

Anyways, one of the findings has been that I get forearm issues with use of mice (esp. if they are small for the hand). And I have taken some steps to avoid using them - and thus avoid movement of the hand b/w keyboards and mouse.

If you are using a Mac AND you are a productivity fanatic / have ergonomics issues - you may want to consider the below tips.

Master Shortcuts: Shortcut World
Top Intellij Shortcuts
Shortcut Foo

Useful software:
Rectangle - Keyboard friendly Window manager
Shortcat - Any visible input button / control on any app
Vimium (Chrome) - using Vim like commands to navigate chrome webpages
Alfred - spotlight replacement with broader search
CheatSheet - Find out what keyboard shortcuts are available on any app by holding down Cmd for an extra sec…
And if you are user of IntelliJ IDE user
Otter Transcription - STT transcription app

While these tips may not completely solve your PITA, I hope it makes some difference.

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