One of my teachers from college is suffering from a Repetitive Strain Injury courtesy having worked on the PC, on her PHD thesis, for around 10-12 hours a day. It’s the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is a little scary cause there’s no cure for it. Take a look at the Wikipedia list for prevention, here.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been rather overworked, and had a minor burnout, following which I took the last weekend off (though I did listen to Digital Media podcasts from the MIT CMS throughout Sunday, just for fun…not really work, though there are those who disagree).
I’ve installed Workrave, which is turning out to be quite useful. It reminds me to take time off (from 15 seconds to 5 minutes), and suggests some exercises that I can do for prevention of RSI. For the five minutes break, once you choose to take it, it blocks input to your PC, though you can postpone the break. It also keeps a tab on how much time you’ve spent not using the keyboard or the mouse…Let’s see how long I use it, though. Suggests Wikipedia: Make sure to heed the reminders. If you do not, you may regret it later. A few exercises at YouTube.
Repetitive strain injuries could be a serious problem in the coming years unless people shift to voice inputs (bandwidth will probably have something to do with it, and the cost of, perhaps, a voice or a video SMS).