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Computers and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Studied 365

Posted by michael
from the aching-wrist dept.
pioneer writes "An article on MSNBC.com reports that a Danish study has found that computer use is not a significant risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome. Not sure about you, but I spent a lot of time learning dvorak and kinesis to prevent just that... the 'inevitable' onslaught of RSI/carpal tunnel/etc."
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Computers and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Studied

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  • by jabbadabbadoo (599681) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:15AM (#6180880)
    ...the wrist can hurt for many reason.
  • by sweeney37 (325921) * <mikesweeney AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:15AM (#6180882) Homepage Journal
    But what about that other activity that is associated with a man, and his wrist. Is it a significant risk factor?

    I'm asking....for a friend.

    Mike
  • Arr Laddy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:16AM (#6180896)
    Tell this to me Captin Jello! I got the Hook to replace my hand loss from Carpal Tunnel. And I lost an Eye from it too. Arr!
  • by Surak (18578) * <surak.mailblocks@com> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:17AM (#6180905) Homepage Journal
    I've been using computers for heavily decades and I've never had any real effects from it all. Ow! Now only if that tingling in my hands would go away...

  • by jabbadabbadoo (599681) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:17AM (#6180906)
    I've heard that women can have the very same problem. For them, the syndom also appears to apply to jaws.
  • by Comatose-M (448331) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:20AM (#6180937) Homepage
    But I know for a fact that a 10 hour playstation session can cause me to develop some awful pain in my fingers.

    Is Nintendo thumb an accepted medical term yet?
  • by Unominous Coward (651680) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:25AM (#6180985)
    what about your other wrist? or is this another case of one hand not knowing where the other one is?
  • Kinesis? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tickenest (544722) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:27AM (#6181003) Homepage Journal
    but I spent a lot of time learning dvorak and kinesis to prevent just that

    Maybe if he'd put some more time into telekinesis he'd still have a useful skill.
  • by wfmcwalter (124904) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:29AM (#6181018) Homepage
    M-x show-mappings

    C-M-g pain
    C-M-G agony
    C-M-T paralysis

    Look at the inventors of *emacs: Stallman - CTS. Gosling - CTS. Zawinsky - weird. Wing - bald.

    In the absence of "emacs peddles", the confirmed emacs user is doomed (dooomed).

    (in next week's exciting episode: "Perl and your spermcount - the shocking truth").
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:36AM (#6181092) Homepage Journal

    ..nothing to do with CTS. CTS != RSI, but CTS is ONE kind of RSI..

    Shit I must need another cup of coffee, for a split second I was thinking "Why is this guy talking about RS232 signals?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:45AM (#6181170)
    You may be surprised to learn that the software you use affects your health. A group of medical researchers in the Midwest have discovered proof that the effect of using quality, reliable software on human health is undeniable.
    An unbiased medical study was recently completed which included blood tests, double-blind placebo-controlled user tests, heart monitors and urine samples, among other techniques. The study was led by Dr. Robert Wilkes and his assistant Dr. Li Huang, both of whom have a strong background in computer software. The details have not yet been made available to the public, however Drs. Wilkes and Huang have asked that the public be provided with a summary of their findings as soon as possible.

    This study was conducted over a period of two years, and the results will be published shortly in a major medical journal. The subjects for the study were 235 computer users and programmers, of varying skill levels, selected at random from major cities in the U.S., and carefully monitored on a periodic basis for software-related stress, illness, injury and other ailments. They also performed psychological evaluations to determine the effect of various software brands on the users' mental health.

    Below is a brief summary of the results of their findings.

    Users of Microsoft Windows, Office and Internet Explorer have a significantly lower incidence of stomach ulcers, colonic gas, redness of the eyes, and stress-related high blood pressure than their Unix & Linux counterparts -- particularly the users of Solarus, Red Hat, NOME, KDE and Netscape, among others. It was believed that the ocular redness was related to the high percentage of marijuana abusers in the Linux community, and urinalysis confirmed this to be the case. Further study and psychoanalysis showed that the stress and ulceration (found in the Unix & Linux users) were primarily caused by the following factors:

    1. Uncertainty about the future of their operating system.
    2. The perceived need to "fight the system", or a sort of internal struggle against large corporations (such as Microsoft).
    3. The necessity of posturing oneself as "reet" in order to gain the respect of colleagues. (These users failed to inform Dr. Wilkes as to the meaning of this obscure term. If anyone here can provide a definition, that would be appreciated.)
    4. Feelings of fear or paranoia concerning illegal hacking, cracking and "where's" smuggling activities. (Such feelings were quite widespread among this group, and tend to also cause the flatus which was mentioned earlier.)

    The Unix & Linux users also had a greater incidence of carpal-tunnel syndrome, due to the greater necessity of typing at the command line. Examination of the wrist muscles in this group of users found numerous cases of inflammation and irreparable injury caused by their incessant command-line usage, whereas the majority of Microsoft users, who primarily use the mouse and seldom type, had healthy wrist muscles.

    The Microsoft users exhibited tranquility, good mental and physical health, and balanced emotional well-being. They tend to spend more time at the gym, visit family and friends more often, and are more outgoing and social. Dr. Huang found that this is due to the fact that their operating system doesn't require them to spend long hours studying Mann pages in order to perform simple maintenance tasks. Their primary reasons for feeling secure were as follows:

    1. Their choice of software is friendly and colorful, plays interesting sounds when they start up, shut down, or click on certain pictures, and Microsoft provides plenty of hotfixes such as Windows Update to keep their computer safe from hackers.
    2. They feel secure about the future of Microsoft, partly because its founder is the richest man on the planet. As one user noted, "Bill Gates is one smart cookie. He knows how to make computers easy for people like me. I trust him with the future of my computer, because he always comes up with nifty ways to make computers fun. Plus he'
  • by twoslice (457793) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @09:49AM (#6181198)
    I've been at a keyboard since before 10yrs old, and now, over 30

    That is amazing, I seem to go through keyboards like I go through computers....

    Can you still read the letters on the keys?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2003 @10:00AM (#6181287)
    With forty hour weeks fast disappearing in Europe in favor of thirty-five hour weeks, not to mention one month vacations and lots of holidays, it is no surprise that typing is not considered harmful.

    Anyone working in the US software industry has seen enough colleages in pain to know that there is some connection out there!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2003 @10:01AM (#6181292)
    A long time ago in a land far, far away, I used to be a forest worker... you know, a lumberjack. I know people who *really* got carpel tunnel from swinging axes all day removing bush and I personally got carpel tunnel trimming trees (which involves hoisting a 30lb running chainsaw completely above my head) and brush. I *know* what real carpel tunnel feels like as your muscles and tendons rub the mylar insulation away from critical nevers that control your hand and arms. It feels like you just got hit with 600volts. There's a reason that chainsaw carrying forest wokers wear steel toed boots, heavy gloves, eye protection and kevlar chapps.... because it sucks when you bleed to death in the woods because carpel tunnel caused you to drop your chainsaw while it's running at full tilt with the throttle lock on.

    Next time I hear about a programmer getting a worker's comp. settlement because of carpel tunnel, I think I'll stop by their house and strap them to a running 36" chainsaw for 8 hours. Unless carpel tunnel causes your to fall out of your fancy aeron chair in sudden, shocking pain, then you don't have carpel tunnel... what you have is a work ethic problem combined with an ineptitude for figuring out how to use voice recognition software.
  • by cyber_rigger (527103) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @10:05AM (#6181326) Homepage Journal
    I find that double clicks and having to go down to the lower left corner to start a program can be hard on your "mouse" wrist. I use the old "olvwm" and find it to be the most ergonomic for me. The worst one ever was Windows 3.1.
  • by Cowboy Bunny (622321) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @10:14AM (#6181404)
    I work on a computer at least 10 hours a day almost every day and I've never had problems except one time I went on a two-week Vacation without a computer. Within a week my wrists started hurting. A couple days after returning home and using my computer I was fine.
  • by sleepingsquirrel (587025) <Greg.Buchholz@sl ... i r r e l . org> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @10:28AM (#6181530) Homepage Journal
    6+ hours a day? I probably wouldn't have any problems if I only worked 6 hours a day. Why don't you try putting in 10 hours of mouse intensive CAD/schematic entry, and then I'll be more inclined to listen to you talk out your lazy ass.
  • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2@@@earthshod...co...uk> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @10:48AM (#6181704)
    ..... and the banana curve effect .....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2003 @11:07AM (#6181916)
    guitar nipple.

    Bet you never heard of those medical conditions.

    Musicians have it bad too.
  • by smithmc (451373) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @11:22AM (#6182113) Journal

    But what about that other activity that is associated with a man, and his wrist. Is it a significant risk factor?

    I dunno - does your "friend" engage in... that other activity... eight hours a day, five days a week? If so, well, then your "friend" probably has other issues to deal with.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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