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Medicine Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Study Says Repetitive Strain Injury Costs $600m 169

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-free-to-me-just-painful dept.
4roddas writes "Work-related RSI cases are at an all-time high and the cost to businesses is spiraling, new Microsoft research reveals. Repetitive strain injury cases have soared by over 30 percent in the last year, costing businesses over US$600 million in lost working hours — and causing pain and debilitating discomfort to over-worked staff. Microsoft claims the rapidly emerging trend of 'mobile working' — with office-based employees now working on the move for an average of an hour more per day than they did two years ago using laptops and mobile devices — is behind this alarming climb in work-related injury. The company arrived at its conclusions in a poll among over 1,000 office workers, HR managers and office managers. This showed that 68 percent of office workers suffered from aches and pains, with the most common symptoms including back ache, shoulder pain and wrist/hand pain."
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Microsoft Study Says Repetitive Strain Injury Costs $600m

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  • by querist (97166) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:18AM (#23666917) Homepage
    I hate to be cynical, but why would Microsoft fund this study? They sell ergonomic keyboards. I wonder if they're coming out with some new ergonomic device, if they are trying to prop up sales of their current line of ergonomic devices, or if their funding of the study was simply an act of generosity (otherwise known as a tax write-off).

    Also, first post?
    • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:22AM (#23666981)
      why would Microsoft fund this study?

      Dont you read /.?

      Yesterday they announced MicroSoft "Touch" - today they announce a reason to want it.

      Plus ca change...

    • by will_die (586523) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:41AM (#23667251) Homepage
      Correct.
      Here [microsoft.com] is the original article from Microsoft, most of it is an ad for thier products.
      One thing to note, Microsoft did not release this as a press release it is just part of the normal "Here is a way Microsoft can help you" marketing.
      • it is just part of the normal "Here is a way Microsoft can help you" marketing.
        As in: "Hi, we're from the government, we're here to help you".
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)
          While I view Microsoft as evil, and frequently illegal, and frequently amoral, and wanting to get my money through lockin, oddly I do still feel that they care about my needs.

          They are like some sort of evil parent that loves you but doesn't want you to grow up and go out on your own life.
      • by Macthorpe (960048) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @09:17AM (#23667751) Journal

        Here is the original article from Microsoft, most of it is an ad for thier products.
        What, you mean the one line that says "Microsoft led the way in ergonomic design, having introduced the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard in 1994, and more recently the Natural Wireless Mouse 6000"?

        How on earth did that transform to 'most of the article' when you decided to point it out?
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          I personally find the ergonomic keyboards to be more uncomfortable than the conventional ones.
          • by Macthorpe (960048)
            I actually agree with you.

            Worst for me though are laptop keyboards - stupidly tiny keys that don't ever seem to have the tactile response I like from a keyboard, no matter which brand I use. I also tend to get my fingers confused when there's no numpad.
        • > How on earth did that transform to 'most of the article' when you decided to point it out? An ad can be as long as you like, and mention the product hardly at all, but still be an ad. Hell, some ads don't even mention the product at all. Whether or not X is an ad for Y is not determined by how much of X contains references to Y. What matters is how the entire text (or video or image) of X is crafted around manipulating you to purchase Y.
          • by cmacb (547347)

            What matters is how the entire text (or video or image) of X is crafted around manipulating you to purchase Y.


            Dear Sir or Madam:

            We had hoped you wouldn't notice that, and would appreciate your not pointing it out to others.

            Sincerely,
            Microsoft Marketing
        • by will_die (586523)
          Just because it doesn't mention a specific product does not mean it is not an ad.
          The first portion explains the problem and then mentions that you should purchase a seperate mouse and keyboard for your notebook users. A nice push into a market where Microsoft is loosing sales since the mouse/keyboard come built in.
          The next part then pushes reasons to get an ergomonic mouse and keyboard.
          The final part talks about the products, has a mention by a Doctor why you need one, then tell you to go get your boss
      • by afxgrin (208686)
        meh - I just recommend masturbating more, and switching hands. It'll strengthen the wrists.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jonaskoelker (922170)
      It's true that microsoft sells ergonomic keyboards [microsoft.com]. I think their most famous ones are the "split" or "natural hand" boards (that's the ones I know, and the names I know them under), i.e. the one I linked to.

      The problem is that it's not a good keyboard design. If we stick to a (roughly) flat board with buttons on it, you first of all want more space between the hands, since that's how you hold them naturally. Second of all, you want vertically aligned keys (the unaligned keys is a holdover from typewrite
      • by Nursie (632944)
        I find it incredibly hard to believe that the movement savings are anywhere near that.

        Now, I'm not saying it's useless either, and there are efficiency gains to be made, but 15:1? I doubt that.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by lbgator (1208974)

          Agree that 15:1 sounds crazy - but the more you look into it the more reasonable it seems. Consider the most frequent digraphs: th he an in er on re ed nd ha at en es of nt ea ti to io le is ou ar as de rt ve. On a qwerty you can type only 1 of 27 on the homerow (as). On Dvorak you can type 13 of 27.

          • by hankwang (413283) *

            Agree that 15:1 sounds crazy - but the more you look into it the more reasonable it seems. [...] On a qwerty you can type only 1 of 27 on the homerow (as). On Dvorak you can type 13 of 27.

            As I wrote in another post [slashdot.org], the ratio is only 1.7 to 1 concerning horizontal travel, or 2.5 versus 1.4 cm per keypress. The data [siteuri.ro] does not show total travel distance, but it does tell us that Dvorak has 54% of the keypresses on the home row, versus Qwerty 23%. If a non-home key adds another 1.5 cm of vertical travel, we ge

          • by pbaer (833011)
            But then the VI(M) bindings don't make sense in dvorak. Most notably, hjkl won't be in the home row, in that order, adjacent to each other. You might be able to change this in vim, but it's still a problem. Wouldn't this also gimp you any time you had to use a qwerty keyboard, or do you find it simple to switch back and forth?
            • by fbjon (692006)
              Why not use the arrow keys? They do work, you know.
            • I think, like most skills, that typing qwerty is something you will stay proficient at if you keep doing it. I only type my password with it on the university computers, so my qwerty is slow. Fortunately, I'm not forced to using qwerty anywhere.
      • Cool but useless. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrYak (748999)
        Those weird martian keyboards definitely look cool, but critically fail to take into account the most important part :
        Nobody stay immobile the whole day with their back straight hand laid down in optimal(c) position(r) the whole day.
        Or if they actually do, they're going to have lots of back and neck pain very fast.

        All these device are optimised for a specific optimal position.
        Whereas, changing position often is critical against back/neck pains.
        Thus these devices aren't polyvalant enough for someone who's go
      • Dvorak v. Qwerty (Score:3, Informative)

        by hankwang (413283) *

        Comparison: on qwerty, you move your fingers 15-20 miles per day, compared to 1 mile on dvorak for (I assume) the same workload.

        The ratio is more like 1.7:1 according to this keyboard analysis on prose [siteuri.ro]. For 250 kB of text, you travel 6.3 km on Qwerty and 3.7 km on Dvorak (only horizontal travel counted). If you don't spend too much time thinking about what you write, you might be able to type that amount in 3 days or so, so 2 versus 1.3 km per day.

        (Happily using Dvorak since 1995)

      • i have rsi and i do actually like some microsoft keyboards - that natural ergonomics 4000 and the comfort curve 2000. they really relieve the wrists.
        a colleague of mine has now rsi, too and has bought the natural ergonomics 4000 keyboard because he has seen mine. he likes it, too.
      • The problem is that it's not a good keyboard design. If we stick to a (roughly) flat board with buttons on it, you first of all want more space between the hands, since that's how you hold them naturally.

        I'll tell you up front, I think the Microsoft ergo keyboards are better than standard ones.

        The slight angle of the two halves lets the two halves line up more naturally with the way I want to hold my hands. And they do have some space between the hands.

        Once I stressed my shoulder, and I found that typing o
      • by jfim (1167051)

        How does it fare for programming, though, with the odd placement of the braces and square brackets(which are on the top row, right next to backspace)?

        I know there is "Programmer dvorak", but it's not a layout that ships with a lot of operating systems --- IIRC neither OS X nor Windows offer it --- and how do you fare on using other computers, which don't have the dvorak keyboard layout installed?

        I've been considering switching to dvorak, but I'd like to know how significant those drawbacks are in realit

        • Valid questions.

          If you stop and think about it, curly brackets doesn't make up an overwhelming amount of your typing. True, it's typed more than in English prose, but there's always the if, while, for or what have you on the line before. Plus a lot of non-block statements.

          That said... I don't find it a problem. My keyboard (the kinesis I linked to) has curly brackets on the top left and right corner keys, which is slightly weird (esp. that they're not adjacent), but I don't think it hinders me in any way
    • by rishistar (662278)
      The main issue from the study points to the increase being down to mobile devices, not desktops, being used more. These are inherently unlike desktop keyboards, though the fact they have a wrist rest present by default is one bonus. Personally, I have an ergonomic keyboard for my desktop, but the laptop has what it comes with.
    • Just because MS sells ergonomic devices does not necessarily mean the study is completely without merit. They may not need to "prop up" the sales of their devices if the study is accurate. And with all the folks I see with carpal tunnel, tendinitis, and other similar injuries on a daily basis, I wouldn't have a hard time believing their findings at all.

      Not everything MS does has evil intent behind. Some sure, but not all.
      • funny thing about producing studies, is that we can take a look at their methods and findings and decide what its worth, e.g
        Microsoft finds linux suxxors because it doesn't use a shiny logo study = FUD.
        but
        Microsoft finds RSI is bad = maybe FUD to sell their stuff, maybe useful research.
  • those actors in the porn movies who must suffer from repetitively moving to and fro, always in and out of their workplace. It must be real hard to not know where you've been or where you're going next when the threat of Repetitive strain injury starts to affect your closest of kin that lives next to the twins.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:20AM (#23666955)
    From the article: The research suggests that one of the main factors behind the high number of injuries is because not enough companies are replacing their existing office equipment with ergonomic hardware that can significantly reduce the risk of RSI.

    Translation:

    "...not enough companies are replacing their existing office equipment with ergonomic hardware that can run Vista."
    • "...not enough companies are replacing their existing office equipment with ergonomic hardware that can run Vista."
      Vista needs a special "Vista Ready" keyboard and mouse???
      • Shh! Microsoft's marketing might think that idea's just dandy.

      • Vista needs a special "Vista Ready" keyboard and mouse???
        No, silly! The programmable chips in the keyboards and mice run Vista.
      • by bhtooefr (649901)
        Actually, there are Vista design guidelines for keyboards, if not mice.

        IIRC, the Windows key has to be dimpled, and there might be some positioning requirements.
    • Microsoft Study Says Ballmer costs $600m.

      The research stuggests that one of the main factory behind the high number of injuries is because Microsoft is replacing their existing office equipment with chairs.
  • I use a 15" at work, would much prefer a desktop with a decent screen. By the time you hook up external keyboard and mouse it has to sit so far away you need an external monitor as well.
  • by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:22AM (#23666985)
    Next they should do a study on how much extra "Your computer wants to do something mundane and we need to you click another box. Confirm or Deny?" clicks contribute to RSI.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bert64 (520050)
      actually repeatedly moving between keyboard and mouse seems to be the biggest issue. many people I know were just fine for years with text based terminals but have started having problems since moving to GUI based systems, usually affecting the hand that operates the mouse.
  • by nauseum_dot (1291664) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:23AM (#23666987)

    I have to say that this is amazing, when you give your employees the ability to work at home, they over work themselves.

    That seems the opposite of conventional wisdom, and I remember reading another story here, some time ago, that said that in the office employees think that telecommuters appear to be doing less work.

    • when you give your employees the ability to work at home, they over work themselves.

      Because you know you are one click away from redundancy by SMS message.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spad (470073)
      I find I'm much more productive when I'm out of the office and therefore not being interrupted every 30 seconds by someone who wants me to do something for them.
      • by Bert64 (520050)
        similarly for me most offices I have worked in are poor environments. often no aircon, as there are laws about making people work in the cold but not in excessive heat. often lots of noise, or a silence policy which can be even worse. sometimes you are forced to listen to someone else choice of music, or suffer the noise smell and disease of someone who is ill. and then there could just be people in the office you don't like.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No one seems to be commenting on what I consider to be an obvious theory: mobile hardware is not ergonomically designed.

      We went through this in the 90's on desktop hardware. There was a rash of repetitive strain injuries, and almost every office made some concession to ergonomics. Keyboard trays that could be precisely positioned, wrist pads and adjustable chairs became the norm. Every office seemed to offer courses on how to avoid RSI's at your desk including how to sit properly, how to position your
  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:23AM (#23666993)
    Clearly, what we need is a new way to interface with a computer, something like speaking/yelling at it and/or a touchscreen interface.
    Naively I ask, does Microsoft have any such projects in development?
    hmmm....

    Idiots. If they wouldn't pop up a notification every time a computer farts or a mouse is plugged in, maybe interfacing with the computer wouldn't be so, you know, repetitive!

  • This is why... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Thelasko (1196535)
    more people need to buy the Microsoft Natural Keyboard. [microsoft.com]
  • by Icarium (1109647) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:24AM (#23667013)
    1. Write software that requires the grunt of a desktop machine to run.
    2. Discredit mobile computing (where you aren't doing so well) by blaming it for a medical condition.
    3. Profit!

    Seriously though, how is it news that performing more of a repetitive action that causes RSI causes (wait for it!) more incidents of RSI?

    I'm more interested in the phenomenon whereby technology that is supposed to make our working lives easier and faster is actually making us work more. (I know, it's not *making* us work more, but why on Earth would anyone want to do more work in more time? Doing the same work in less time, or more work in the same time I can understand).
  • by bunyip (17018) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:26AM (#23667033)
    My employer (Sabre Holdings) offers Active Release Therapy (ART) for RSI and similar problems. The doctor that does this comes into the office two mornings a week and does 15 minute treatment sessions. No complex insurance forms and the associated cost of running around and taking time off to get it treated. It's a nice benefit to have :-)

    I've had ART done on me for running injuries (repetitive strain) and it's worked really well, I recommend it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eth1 (94901)
      I was just about to say something similar. Any wrist pain I've ever had has been solved in about 5 minutes by my chiropractor. Ditto for back, knee, neck, etc.

      I don't think the original "injury" is usually caused by the repetitive motions, it's just aggravated by it. Fix the problem, not the symptoms.

      Wish the company would have one on staff, so I didn't have to pay for it, though...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      My employer (Sabre Holdings) offers Active Release Therapy (ART)

      Wow, that just sounds so ... naughty. Like "Massage with happy ending" or something. ;-)

      I wish my company would implement such a policy. I'm sure I'd be much more productive after a little morning 'release' to get my day off to a good start. :-P

      Cheers
    • by initialE (758110)
      Googling ART brought me this: http://www.activerelease.com/ [activerelease.com] To quote: "Active Release Techniques is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves." A patented medical procedure? That you need to buy a license to practice? This seems to be a first for me. Used to be that all you needed was training and a license to practice general physiotherapy.
  • Known cure (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:27AM (#23667047)
    The only known cure for "repetitive stain injury" is to take up embroidery (hand, not computer).

    The underlying cause of RSI is that you dont need to be very accurate to hit keys on a keyboard, and so you can be fairly indiscriminate about which keys you hit. The nerves all activate together, and, over a long period, you lose the ability to distinguish between nerve fibres.

    Enbroidery requires you to be very accurate, and you re-learn the use of the individual nerves.

    I leave google as an exercise for the reader, while I get back to my needlework.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Yeah, but embroidery makes you go blind, so take your poison... if my hands quit working, i can voice control the screen and see the output still!
    • Enbroidery requires you to be very accurate, and you re-learn the use of the individual nerves.

      Sounds interesting, but I'd wager that learning to type does the same. By that I mean learning correct posture and arm and wrist position/angle, etc. before you start the process of learning to hit keys.

      Alternatively, I suppose, one could use a "natural" keyboard, in the same way one can learn to slouch in a comfy chair and watch TV "comfortably". Or make up for one's lousy posture and bad habits by getting an o
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Yxven (1100075)
      I guess I failed the exercise.

      Searching for "embroidery repetitive strain injury" on google only finds articles on how to prevent developing rsi while doing needlework.

      http://needlework.craftgossip.com/rsi-repetative-stress-injuries/2008/03/05/ [craftgossip.com]
      http://www.punchneedleembroidery.com/pages/default.cfm?page_id=6180 [punchneedl...oidery.com]
      http://www.content4reprint.com/hobbies/arts-and-crafts/how-to-avoid-repetitive-strain-injury-rsi-when-cross-stitching.htm [content4reprint.com]

      So if you wouldn't mind sourcing your statement, I would appreciate it.
    • Emphasis mine:

      The only known cure for "repetitive stain injury" is to take up embroidery (hand, not computer).
      I always though the cure for repetitive stain injury was bleach, and the preventative was to wipe better.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I always though the cure for repetitive stain injury was bleach, and the preventative was to wipe better.

        Or, rub one out before you go to bed and mess up your sheets.

        Oh, er, wait ... :-P
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      The only known cure for "repetitive stain injury" is to take up embroidery (hand, not computer).

      And, in the world of human endeavors ... needle-point is the best we can come up with? Does nothing come even close to this in terms of therapeutic effect?

      That just seems like such a very specific "only" cure as to seem implausible.

      Cheers
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jadrian (1150317)
      Bullshit. I had RSI I recovered. Also while there might be some truth to what you just said, trying to isolate _one_ cause is nonsense.

      It started slowly, bit of pain on wrist. Pain on neck, pain on back. Then it hit hard and fast. One day suddenly I started feeling pain shooting down may arm, stronger and stronger, it wouldn't stop. And it kept on going... for days. Even when that feeling stopped I couldn't even lift my arm to my chest. After some days I could move better, but typing immediately gave me pai
  • Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by G-News.ch (793321)
    Funny how the increase in workhours is mostly due to technology Microsoft introduced themselves, among others. Windows Mobile comes to mind. What a handy business model, when you're the reason and the cure for a popular problem all at once. Greatest invention since the postal undertaker.
  • ...in something that's been known about and documented over the last 20 odd years. Any one pounding keys all day is at risk for this. I'm not sure a survey was needed. I'm trying to work out what Microsoft are doing these sort of surveys for now. Maybe even find out why they are doing it now.
    • ...in something that's been known about and documented over the last 20 odd years.

      Not really. The widespread diagnosis of RSI is a fairly recent phenomenon, and then it applies, outside of industrial or factory environments, mostly to office workers using keyboards, and not to those who pounded their days away on Underwoods or, if they were lucky, IBM Selectrics.
  • by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdot@remco.p[ ]i.nl ['all' in gap]> on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:29AM (#23667079)
    According to this article from may 16th

    http://www.nu.nl/news/1569649/36/rss/RSI-klachten_weer_op_niveau_van_10_jaar_geleden.html [www.nu.nl]

    (sorry it's in dutch) our RSI numbers are down to the same as ten years ago. So we don't see to have the problem that MS is warning us about.
    I wonder why that is?
    • by ivan256 (17499)
      Most of the injuries they talk about are caused primarily by a lack of exercise. It's not just that they're typing, or using mobile devices too much... It's that they're doing those things without exercising the parts of their bodies that are idle while they work.

      Of course, people would rather blame somebody other than themselves for their injuries, and companies like Microsoft would rather sell you software or hardware to solve the problem...
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      So we don't see to have the problem that MS is warning us about.
      I wonder why that is?
      Smoking pot prevents RSI?
  • getting random BSOD's, and IT Help Desk people from walking to and from computer terminals to fix simple issues. I guess the more that you are up and about the more likelihood of getting hurt. No wonder Linux saves money it hardly goes down and usually a simple SSH Session is needed to fix something unless SSHD is dead.
  • Dvorak (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mwilliamson (672411) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:31AM (#23667111) Homepage Journal

    I'm on a computer a good portion of the day and really enjoy using the Dvorak keyboard layout. Some studies say they layout results in faster typing, some say not, however the amount of finger travel required to type on Dvorak is substantially less than qwerty. I've been using Dvorak for about 12 years now and haven't had any wrist trouble.

    It just makes sense to use a optimized keyboard layout instead of an intentionally de-optimized layout from 130 years ago that was primarly designed to prevent typewriter hammers from sticking together. To further show how asinine the qwerty layout is, one of the marketing directives was to put all the letters to spell TYPE WRITER, which was the machines' brand name, on the top row so salesmen would have an easy demo.

    This also keeps co-workers off my console in the event I forget to lock it. What's even more amusing is to change someone else's layout to dvorak and be there when they get confused. I quickly ask them to show me and I type something in front of them. We go back and forth a few times and for a split second, I take amusement in that person questioning their own sanity.

  • by Splab (574204) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:31AM (#23667113)
    why Microsoft insists on changing user interface on each and every release - they are doing it to protect us! My heroes!
  • While I'm a bit dubious of why Microsoft cares, I'm also coming off two weeks of appalling pain in my left (non dominant) hand. It arrived in the middle of the night after a long day at the keyboard, with enough force to wake me up and keep me awake. A little thought revealed the culprit: A decorative metal strip (sort of like half a pipe) runs around the table where I sit, and my wrists were resting directly on it. Plenty of ibuprofen and padding with a soft towel took care of the immediate problem, but I
  • What OS though? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've often thought Windows keyboard shortcuts poorly thought out compared to MacOS. On the Mac most shortcuts are based around the Command modifier key which naturally sits beneath your thumb, making most shortcuts a simple reach, whereas on Windows PCs many shortcuts are based around Ctrl which sits under your little finger making even the most simple of key combos more of a stretch... and not a comfortable stretch at that.

    I've never had RSI issues using a Mac (16+ hours per day), whereas I often have pain
  • by crisper (12620)
    I bet construction workers are sore everyday they work their whole lives. I wonder if it is more the right hand for right handed guys and the left hand for left handed guys.....
  • all the users repeatedly smacking their heads against the keyboard after being forced to use Vista.
  • Great, we have yet another self-promoting missive from a company that manufactures ergonomic keyboards and pointing devices.
  • A psychiatrist friend of mine has a whole section in her website on whether RSI even exists. http://www.lucire.com.au/writers_cramp_main.aspx [lucire.com.au]
    • Let me guess, she thinks it's all in the patient's mind, and she has a special program for dealing with it...
    • by Pope (17780)
      Yeah, right. Tell that to the millions of people who have had one. It's not like it's a new problem, suddenly springing up because computers were invented.
  • I imagine (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:53AM (#23667431) Homepage
    this is from people continuously having to press CTRL + ALT + DEL

    Thank you, I'm here all night! Try the veal!
    • I know you're joking, but key combinations that require finger stretches are the worst possible thing for RSI. Ctrl-Alt-Del is fine so long as you're using both hands, but if you're pressing it over 30 times a day you may want to look into alternative OSs.
  • by 3seas (184403) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @08:53AM (#23667439) Journal
    go figure...
  • I wonder how much of this is an actual increase in the problem, or an increase in the reporting of the problem?

  • pffft (Score:4, Funny)

    most of these injuries are due to the poor ergonomics of stooping over a laptop placed on your lap

    what i've done is devoted my eating regimen to ice cream, fast food, and sugary sodas, thereby establishing a nice shelf space, massive rolls of belly fat, on which to perch my laptop. now that my laptop is securely nestled close to my face, my wrists assume a natural curvature during typing, my back is straight rather than stooped over, and i've even reduced my eye strain

    therefore, i heartily (cough wheeze) endorse a high calorie regimen to decrease RSI via belly perching your laptop for better ergonomics. its a dramatic improvement in joint health
    • You're making a joke, but I was thinking seriously along the same lines.

      Where I work, I see several people use their laptop as the primary computer during the work day, with no benefit of docking station or external monitor/keyboard.

      Though I find laptop usage merely uncomfortable I wonder if the cramped keyboard, small screen and zero screen elevation makes them more prone to induce RSI injuries.
  • About 10 years ago I started having problems with pains in one of my wrists. I was a software engineer and I'm now a sysadmin so keyboards are critical to my work. When I first started getting the pains I got one of those wrist braces and it would help for a while but when I stopped wearing it the soreness would eventually return. I knew a guy around that time who was a professional chef, and apparently they get RSI injures quite a bit due to the repetitive motions used in food preperation. He also mana
  • This number is meaningless. Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot, but I have no frame of reference. A 30% increase from its previous value sounds significant, but it, too, is meaningless it's based on a value that has no comparison to anything else. It might not be so significant if, for example, accidental stapling of documents to people's fingers (which rarely happens...at least, where I work) costs industry $800 billion a year.

  • by freaker_TuC (7632) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @09:46AM (#23668089) Homepage Journal
    Studies are showing RSI costs $600m.

    Why is it that money is more important, aside the fact businesses enslave their employees through overwork and deadlines?

    RSI is not only caused by bad positioning, but also by expecting more than which can be given. By stressing the body way overtime.

    What's going to be next ? Sleep deprivation costs businesses $600m ?

    To my opinion the root cause should be talked about instead of the result in an entities wallet.

    Treat the root-problem instead of looking to the consequences only.
  • The problem here is not the keyboard or the mouse at all; you can have a mouse shaped like a fricking inner tube and still experience RSI. The problem is that people use their computers for a very long time, often with no gap in between. They tend to either be just keyboarding or just mousing, and there is a tendency to move the mouse far more than necessary. Speaking of which, the mouse wheel is not a clever interface.

    I use Workrave to enforce 30 second micro breaks at 6 minute intervals and 6 minute real
  • $600 million? I could buy 3, maybe 4 copies of Vista Ultimate with that.
  • Microsoft's three-key keyboard [kiwassee.org] has been shown to significantly reduce BSOD-related injuries. It's not exactly a chording keyboard though...
  • I suspect that one of the major causes of RSI among telecommuters is reputation farming in WoW.
  • This showed that 68 percent of office workers suffered from aches and pains, with the most common symptoms including back ache, shoulder pain and wrist/hand pain."
    I know back pain in the upper back for incorrect posture. For my primary sitting area most of the time I use one of these [standit.com], yes it won't help all the time but it makes a big difference.
  • Over $60 billion in lost productivity using Windows.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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