Terms commonly used to describe Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) are Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD), Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) and Occupational Overuse Syndrome. The definitions of these conditions may vary slightly but they mainly describe the same ailments. The staple premise behind these conditions is that a person is capable of overusing, or using in an improper manner, an instrument like a computer mouse or keyboard which can result in tissue damage causing elevated levels of pain and reduced mobility of the injured area. The most common RSI is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
There are a ton of ergonomic computer products on the market that are designed to prevent RSI and also relieve some of the symptoms of it. Some products are better than others and the same is true for the manufacturers. Below is a list of the most common ergonomic upgrades people make to their work stations when they are looking to increase comfort to reduce discomfort from daily computer use.
These are the most common initial upgrades consumers make. An adjustable ergonomic keyboard is the most extreme you can get with it. This type of keyboard has a true split-key design which allows more control over the exact positions of each piece. Some people are intimidated by the way this type of product looks but if you can get past the initial weirdness you may find that it helps you type more comfortably. ErgoExperts.com offers the most popular ergonomic keyboard models that are sure to provide the relief and comfort you're looking for.
If you've ever wondered how great it would be to move your keyboard and mouse off of your desk into a more comfortable position, while simultaneously making more room on your desk, you should look into buying an ergonomic keyboard tray
system. This type of computer furniture can help your RSI symptoms by positioning your input devices more ergonomically, thus reducing any strain put on our hands, wrists and forearms. There are a few important things you need to know about keyboard trays before making a purchase, but once you're sure you meet the basic requirements you have many options available to you to choose from. Humanscale makes ultra-high-quality premium systems that are in the $300 range, and this manufacturer has been around for decades. People who don't have a lot of spare room on the underside of their desk will opt for a short track keyboard tray
that allows the system to be fully retracted in a smaller area than a standard-sized track.
Most computer users sit on old-fashioned, basic, non-supportive chairs... usually against their will. Companies usually don't provide its employees with good quality chairs because let's face it, they're expensive. However, sitting for long periods of time on a bad chair results in a plethora of health risks. At ErgonomicSeating.org you can find unbiased reviews of various high-end ergonomic chair models as well as a few articles focusing on chair buying tips and features that are important to look for before making a purchase. A good high quality computer task chair can go a long way in reducing back pain and discomfort. Anyone with chronic back pain will tell you that it's really awful, and anything you can do to prevent injuring yourself is worth trying.
To free up more desk space and to have the ability to position your flat panel computer monitor(s) in an optimal location you should look into installing an lcd monitor arm on or around your work surface. Monitor arms are one of the biggest bang-for-your-buck upgrades you can make to your workstation. The ergonomic benefits are numerous and they are not very expensive, although some premium models like those from Ergotech can fetch upwards of a few hundred dollars. Using an articulating dual monitor arm to position two screens next to each other is a great way to increase your productivity at the computer.