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 Healthy Computing: RIS 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
Repetitive motion is only one of many components that contributes to discomfort at the computer such as neck, shoulder and arm tensions or tiredness. In many cases other factors such as ergonomics, stress, workload, responsibility without control, lack of awareness, absence of social support and lack of movement significantly contribute to discomfort. Instead of describing the discomfort as repetitive strain injury (RSI), describe it as restrictive immobilization syndrome (RIS).

How to avoid RIS:

Avoid RIS and maintain health by frequently changing activities and performing movements. Do some of the following:

  • Every hour take a 5-minute break (studies at the Internal Revenue Service show that employees report significant reduction in symptoms without loss in productivity)
  • Leave your computer station for the 15-minute mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks
  • Eat lunch away from the computer workstation
  • Take a short walk or do other movements instead of snacking when feeling tense or tired
  • Have walking meetings, or walk during part of the meeting
  • Drink lots of water so that you have to take a movement break
  • Practice micro-breaks every 30 seconds for 1 second by dropping your hands to your lap
  • Perform a stretch, strengthening, relaxation, or mobilization movement every 30 minutes
  • Change work tasks frequently during the day
  • Stand up when talking on the phone

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders

      
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
 
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