Since I am a software developer, I regularly to a lot of typing when I program.

What would reduce the risk of getting RSI if breaks are not an option?

Currently my setup is a laptop using the built in keyboard and trackpad. I also sit on a chair which does not have a table (meaning I have to use it on my legs), I also recline back slightly.

I am trying to learn the Dvorak (normal and programmer) to see if that helps me.

I mainly use my keyboard instead of trackpad when I am on my computer, also if people suggest using a mouse instead of trackpad, I would still rather a trackpad since that is what I have got used to.

Whenever I get it, it seems to be on the hard bit of my right wrist and it goes away within a few days.

  • 1
    This site might help. The thing is resting at intervals is very important for preventing RSI or stopping it from getting worse. You would have to stop much longer if you had it operated on. There are quite a few RSI prevention accessories too such as wrist rests, which help with wrist/hand positioning Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:08
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    There is considerable doubt that RSI as an entity exists. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 11:43
  • No table? So the laptop is on the thighs?
    – Jan
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


When you have a laptop on your thighs and you type, the wrists are bent upwards (forcedly) more than when you have a laptop on the table (higher).

Also, arms bent forward and without support can pose a lot of burden on the upper back muscles.

Some sort of table (even portable) can help.


I actually did a study on this (pains relation to posture) providing ergonomic assessments and follow ups for office workers.

Ideally you'd look something like this:


They have carpal tunnel wrist guards that I'm sure you'd love to wear.

I'd sit on a Swiss Ball -- doubt this is possible either but your innercore is key to preventing lower back pain and possible surgery (you don't want this).

The good news is carpel tunnel surgery is just snipping your flexor retinaculum so that is a pretty simple fix.

Prioritize watching your back and neck regions for sure. A workspace that's properly setup would be great too.

  • Thanks for that information. I am getting a desk now anyway which should mean my arm and hands do not need to be near 90 degrees. That should help too.
    – iProgram
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 11:48

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