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Rolling up my sleeves

Posted by Sat, 10 Jun 2006 20:26:00 GMT

12 comments Latest by bets online Sun, 06 Aug 2006 03:24:56 GMT

A former coworker and friend of mine, Al Hulaton, would wear these thin gloves that had some padding under the wrists. He said that he wore them because he would get pains in his wrists and hands from working on the computer so often. I always meant to try a pair and found myself looking at a pair online the other week. They’re called SotFlex Computer Gloves and run just $24.95/pair.

They are going to take some getting used to…

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  1. Avatar
    topfunky Sat, 10 Jun 2006 22:26:47 GMT

    Not to be a troll, but I’ve tried several of those solutions and I’ve gotten the best long-term positive benefit from switching to the Dvorak keyboard layout.

    Previously I couldn’t type on a laptop for more than 30 minutes. Now I can type for a full day on a laptop with no ill effects.

    RSI is the dirty secret of the computer industry and I applaud you for helping to publically expose it, Robby!

  2. Avatar
    Ron Sat, 10 Jun 2006 23:20:21 GMT

    Whats RSI?

    I never really get any pains, maybe evolution has adapted me? :)

  3. Avatar
    Peter Armstrong Sat, 10 Jun 2006 23:21:25 GMT

    I agree with topfunky: switching to Dvorak layout was the best thing I’ve ever done for preventing RSI.

    I used to be a big advocate of the Kinesis contoured keyboard (works great with Dvorak: you can toggle with one key, and also works great with emacs since you can assign big keys to ctrl & escape). However, I found that extensive use of it led to really bad pain in my right thumb. (This was probably my fault for lazy hand positioning, but it happened.)

    Currently, the best thing I can come up with is the following: 1. Dvorak layout. This is just essential. Give it 2 weeks for your brain to learn.

    2. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. It has a wonderful split layout, really nice wrist rest and works great on a mac. (You can remap the right application key so that you have two command keys and two option keys, one on each side.) Finally, it has a nice thing which gives you a negative slope if you’re stuck on a flat desk.

    3. Humanscale keyboard arm ( This gives you a negative slope for your keyboard and mouse, as well as a nice mouse stand that you can pivot to exactly where you want.

    4. Humanscale Freedom chair. Puts the Aeron and Steelcase chairs to shame. (Note: they have a mesh one now called liberty which I’ve never tried.)

    Seriously Robby, you’re going to just hurt yourself worse with a stopgap solution like gloves…

    Cheers, Peter

  4. Avatar
    David Rice Sun, 11 Jun 2006 01:42:32 GMT

    What a coincidence, I was thinking of the same thing today… and just made a [post]( about something similiar I found out about. I’ll let you know if its worth it.

    I agree Geoffrey, there is a lot of misunderstanding as to what RSI and Carpal Tunnel really are… among an industry so prone to becoming it’s slave.

    For me, removing the elements in my life that were causing the symptoms has started to improve things and will ultimately be the solution… though giving a couple of these devices a try will hopefully help speed things along.

  5. Avatar
    Sebastian Gräßl Sun, 11 Jun 2006 17:49:41 GMT

    Hej cool, i didn’t know that there are gloves for that. I wear most of the time a scarf wraped around my wrist.

    Mostly my right hand hurts, i think this is because of my mouse, the Apple Mouse is not very ergonomic.

  6. Avatar
    Phil Mon, 12 Jun 2006 20:29:14 GMT

    I second the recommendation for the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The negative slope makes a huge difference; it’s much better than you would expect. I also support Dvorak, (the keyboard layout, not the troll columnist) but I’ve been using it for longer than I’ve been professionally programming, so I can’t say it’s made a huge difference in reducing pain. It’s just better.

  7. Avatar
    Paul Tue, 13 Jun 2006 15:18:02 GMT

    One of the most important things to not getting repetitive stress injury is removing the repetition, and I think that the real problem is the mouse and not so much the keyboard (for me anyway).

    I trained myself to use the mouse on the left hand side at work, and right hand side at home, because I felt RSI more in my right hand than my self. I think it’s helped. I’ve also switched to Dvorak.

    Also I’ve found that I can barely use my laptop (with its dinky little keyboard) for more than a couple of hours without a problem.

  8. Avatar
    rug Wed, 14 Jun 2006 20:36:35 GMT

    cool blog

  9. Avatar
    David Thu, 15 Jun 2006 20:16:00 GMT

    Working in a cold building in Portland I discovered how important it is to keep you hands warm. Trying to code with ice cold hands HURTS. I got some finger-less (more like fingertip-less) fleece gloves from REI and they really helped. I was able to hit all the semicolons and braces (yes, C) I needed to without my hands locking up.

    I then discovered that the gloves also really help when playing video games, even when it’s not cold out. The padding they provide results in my hands being much less sore after holding a PS2 or Xbox controller for hours on end.

  10. Avatar
    James Adam Mon, 17 Jul 2006 18:51:17 GMT

    This is excellent – now coding can be just like playing golf! Except we get gloves on both hands!

    “This method looks like a five-iron…”

    (Hope it helps with your wrists, Robby :))

  11. Avatar
    KnowHumanscale Thu, 20 Jul 2006 06:17:33 GMT

    As a long time employee of Humanscale, I can tell you that the blog posted praising the Humanscale Freedom Chair was posted by a Humanscale employee. So, take it with a grain of salt.

    The Freedom chair is not what it’s all cracked up to be. It’s designed to have you sit back in your seat with a 100-110 degree recline. However, when you do that, two things happen: 1.) Your butt tends to slide forward in the chair…towards the front edge. You continually have to readjust to get back to a comfortable position. They spin sell this flaw by saying “movement is critical”. Nice try. 2.) Your lower back tends to pull away from the poor excuse for lumbar support. Lumbar support is critical, yout, when you use the chair the way it is sold, that support is minimal.

    The Liberty Chair: 1.) WAY over priced 2.) Does not hold a candle to other high-end chairs. 3.) The arms do not adjust.

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