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 ( www.workrave.org ).
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!