I’ve been using computers daily since I was twelve, and I’ve never had any trouble with RSI or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When I look back at how I sat hunched over my Amiga 500 while playing games, that in itself is a small miracle. Nowadays, I pay close attention to my posture, and I can work long days without even the slightest hint of pain. Until I pick up one of my mobile devices that is.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep because my shoulder was sore. Had it been a Friday, this wouldn’t have surprised me, but this was Monday night, the end of my three-day weekend. When I started going over what I’d done the last couple of days, I started getting the suspicion that my iPod and phone were to blame. I’d not used my desktop PC in three days, and my laptop was still in it’s sleeve.
Think about it. If you’re the type of person who read long web pages on their phone and tweets often throughout the day, you end up holding that device up in front of you for extended periods of time. Modern smartphones are usually around 150 grams, so it’s no workout, but still. My current theory is that it’s mostly the weight of the arm itself.
At this point I’m going to try cutting back on my iPod and phone usage for a while, and see if that helps. I’m also not getting an iPad, because I’m pretty sure it would kill me. I’m also wondering whether other gadget freaks have similar issues. Are these mobile gadgets going to spawn a new RSI epidemic?