Treating an addict

This post issued in public service:

To start with, I don’t go out often. And then, I cannot engage in hard physical activity due to a knee injury which happened a year ago. And considering the fact that I run my startup out of an apartment where I live as well, to avoid the 1 hour + (2 hours in peak traffic) journey from my actual home, I end up in front of a computer screen for over 90% of my waking time on most days. Work (writing code, communicating with associates/clients) , entertainment (movies and games) and socialising (IM/social networks), everything happens over a computer.

Not surprisingly, I started feeling symptoms of RSI in my right arm a few months back. I didn’t care much initially, but then the pain began to persist. Mornings would be painless, but as the day progressed, a mild pain would build up which would not go away.

So I finally decided to discuss it with a cousin, who has suffered with RSI as well, and has had to even undergo medical treatment for it. Thankfully, I’m still in an initial stage (or so I think!), so treatment through prevention is still an option. He recommended me to install Workrave ( ).

Its a pretty nifty little tool, available for both windows and *nix ( I got mine through the official Ubuntu repository, so its as simple as sudo apt-get install workrave). Every 3 minutes it opens up a little window and asks me to rest my hands. And every 45 minutes, it starts displaying some timed exercise routines, following which it locks up my screen, forcing me to go away (Ofcourse, one can always cheat…but with bad consequences ). The timing, and some more options can be easily configured through a menu. Its quite likely you would’ve heard of it if you work in a large company, if not, start using it if you feel the symptoms…before it gets too late.

PS: I went through some real pain typing all this :P, so do consider this friendly advice!

22 thoughts on “Treating an addict

  1. ouch.. hope u get it under control sid. i had pretty bad rsi some years ago, my doc made me wear a wrist cast and ordered me to take a week’s divorce from my keyboard. i know the pain… and i remember how freaked out i was at feeling “disabled”. do take care of it.. and yes, prevention is the best cure.

  2. go easy on ur usage of computers. cut out discretionary use i.e. games and socialising. just uninstall 2 out of the three messengers u use… uninstall all games… n join some yoga classes wherein activity

  3. sid..instead of going out to get some air and getting some exercise done for your knee, u r wasting that time in games and social networks.u can definitely cut out these.
    even I have a neck injury since last 4-5 months.laziness does get the better of me but I try to exercise the injured part as much as possible.
    Just coz you had a knee injury or ANY injury shouldn’t stop u from doing anything.You are still young(I hear some peeps giggling :P) and your body can mend it’s damaged parts provided you work on the,.
    Games are definitely addictive.I didn’t write one take of internal exams in 3rd sem in college just coz I wanted to finish a game.Later I uninstalled all the games I had and hardly let anyone install games in my system(even my bro).Coz it stops me from going out and having fun, from meeting people, from exercise, from any other activity that I would want to do otherwise.

    I do realize that most of your work is in front of your machine.Social networking is a little important since am sure some of those guys on orkut or facebook or even are also your clients or someone else who would be viable for your business.If not, just cut down on it.
    With all the work in office..even my back gives me problems sometimes.But I am trying to improve the strength with my workout.
    Cant give you anymore gyan..since I am not that good at it.Do take care of your health.

  4. join teh club! 😛 minus the knee prob of course 😛
    to start with,,, try early morning and evening walks … also try physiotherapy for ur knee…
    i too work long hours… its been ages since i saw teh sun go down… to add to it i travel like crazy! … im sure to burn out and die soon…
    try new things instead of stickin to the confines of ur apartment..

  5. I agree with Raptor, however don’t agree with his social networking part cos i really don’t think ur upto much good in that bit…. amt of time spent on social networking online/ productivity out of it = very negligible. Thts y i have stopped it unless its to keep in touch.
    And really better than walking (strains the knee), it is yoga… your exercises can be customised to suit your injured knee. one hr a day is a must

  6. Wow…looking at the quantum of advice…all seem to care about me a lot! 😛
    I’m not much of a gamer, not more than a couple of hours a week. And I’m hardly active on social networks either, its mostly on need basis (replying to a scrap/wall post etc).
    I am on IM for several hours everyday, which cannot be cut down on much. And then I read, atleast 50 ‘screenfulls’ of text everyday, both related and not related to work. But then again…its more of a stress on the eyes, not otherwise.
    But yeah…I’ve been delaying meeting the physio, will do that soon. And will talk to my aunt for the yoga exercises…she should be able to help.
    Thanks a lot folks 🙂

  7. In other news…for those on my IM who noticed the ‘wheeeeeeeee’, its been a fantastic morning. Woke up with the news that we finally heard from Intel Capital, and will be meeting a partner from US who’s into consumer internet next week. And also…we made it to the second round of Techcrunch50 !!!

  8. hehe sid’s new profile pic is funny.Seems like u r trying so hard to give a mean dark look but the smile gives it sure u wanted to imply a wicked smile :))

  9. Second round conf was supposed to start at 9am PDT, but it seems to have been delayed a bit…lets see how it goes. First round conf was with Eric Schonfeld, co editor at Techcrunch. I believe this round should be with a external judge, probably some big ticket valley guy. Will post update when it happens.

  10. Second round just finished. It was rescheduled to midnight PDT. This time it was Heather Harde, TechCrunch CEO. And from what I just heard, it went very, very well.

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