International RSI Awareness Day 2007

Today is the last day of February 2007, which means today is the annual international RSI (repetitive strain injury) Awareness Day. I can’t find any “official” website for it, but here are a few links to more information:

In honour of this day I want to share a tip for avoiding, or at least reducing the risk of, getting a computer mouse-related RSI:

Don’t place your mouse next to your keyboard. Place it in front of your keyboard instead, and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise if you’re left handed, 90 degrees anti-clockwise if you’re right handed. It feels a bit awkward at first, but after a few days you will be used to it and wonder how you could ever work (or play) with the mouse in that awkward position next to your keyboard.

I used to have problems with my right hand and arm, but changing the location of my mouse worked wonders.

Here’s a simple illustration of my keyboard/mouse arrangement (I am right handed):

Mouse positioned in front of keyboard at a 75 degree angle

I realised as I made this illustration that the angle is closer to 75 degrees than 90. The idea is to reduce the distance you move your arm when switching from mouse to keyboard and to let your arms rest on the table.

Posted on February 28, 2007 in Accessibility, Usability