arrow19 Comments
  1. Linda Danielis
    May 29 - 3:44 pm

    In the UK if you have an Access to Work assessment they can recommend Dragon and Text to Write Read and Write Gold. These make considerable difference although you need to train to understand the programmes and Dragon needs to understand your voice profile on the PC whereas not on the IPad app. These make a considerable difference as does having a proper chair with lumbar support from a specialist, not Staples, and if pain really bad as well as seeing an osteopath and having clinical massage treatment and pain killers from GP you may need to not use the computer for more than 10 minutes every hour and it can take a very long time ie many months for the situation to improve. I noticed in America there are now Geek desks so that the computer user can alternate standing and sitting but I have not seen them in the UK. The bottom line is not to use a computer without very frequent breaks and sometimes work schedules do not allow for this but they should. The Access to Work assessments come with some financial contribution which varies according to the size of the organisation you work for.

    • Johannes Starke
      May 29 - 5:01 pm

      Thanks for sharing your valuable information on Access to Work Solutions.

      It drives me crazy that many companies don’t allow their employees to take frequent breaks. It has been proven that even healthy people can increase their productivity by resting often. Tony Schwartz from The Energy Project has done a lot of work on that and is doing his best to transform cultures in organization.

      You mentioned Dragon; here is an inspiring video of Jon Morrow, who used it to become one of the world’s most popular bloggers: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/11/21/speech-recognition-for-bloggers-the-ultimate-guide/

      Thanks again for sharing, Linda.

  2. Lisa Tunnicliff
    May 29 - 4:07 pm

    A great rest for my eyes is palming. I comfortably cup my eyes with my hands and keep my eyes open. I hope everyone knows about the Irlen Institute too. Wearing their orange tinted glasses helped me a lot too.

  3. Chris Heppner
    May 29 - 4:11 pm

    Good essay! I have two more suggestions that have helped me: first, try dimming your computer screen–most are set blazingly high. I dimmed mine substantially, and that helped quite a bit. Secondly, I bought a kneeling chair, and that too has helped a lot–I sit up straighter, and the reduction in angle between trunk and legs seems to help too. I am reading “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals” by Joan Vernikos, a scientist who worked with returning NASA astronauts in reducing their problems with coping with gravity again–their problems have some overlap with ours if we lie down a lot–and she is full of interesting suggestions, some of which duplicate yours–move frequently, take short breaks and move and stand up.
    Chris Heppner

    • Johannes Starke
      May 29 - 4:54 pm

      Great suggestions, Chris. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Agnes Cleary
    May 29 - 4:55 pm

    What a great article! I’m finally pulling out of a flare up that I think was brought on by too much time on the computer. For me, it was easy to fool myself into thinking I was following my Dr.’s advice to rest at 3 hr. intervals by using the computer during those “rest” times. And a bad case of pneumonia had me housebound and web-surfing more than average. Using the computer is not resting! I’m thinking of having that painted in big red letters above my desk! Or maybe I’ll just install Stillness Buddy!

  5. Ali
    May 29 - 5:10 pm

    i was surprised that reading aloud really helped with my concentration. it also made it a bit fun.

    i’m glad you reminded me of stillness buddy. i used it for at least a year and got a new computer and forgot to renew.

    i’ve found f.lux helps the eye strain from the color and brightness of the screen. from their website “it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.” there are even claims it helps you to sleep better if using the computer late at night. though i have read science that debunks this too.

    thank you

    • Cort Johnson
      May 30 - 12:03 pm

      Hey, who knew? I may try reading aloud. I notice that I talk aloud when I write sometime. (Actually my girlfriend noticed that :))

      Thanks for all the suggestions – we’re building a Tools site and I will put them all on there.

  6. Heather
    May 29 - 10:22 pm

    I recently found out that I am sensitive to electomagnetic frequencies ( EMF ) and that causes my symptoms to flare when on the computer, phone, etc.. There are some ways to diminsh or block some of the EMF’s in order to help with more time on the computer. It is not surprising that some people would have a sensitivity to EMF’s considering the hypersesitivity to just about everything. Utilizing all the tips in the article as well as keeping in mind the effects of the time spent absorbing EMF’s is a great help.

  7. Kitty
    May 30 - 1:15 am

    I don’t know about everyone else, but reading aloud makes me feel like the Cheshire Cat. LOL! It’s a good thing I’m only reading to imaginary children, as real ones would probably be terrified. xD

    • Kitty
      May 30 - 1:19 am

      By the way, this is a great article with lots of good info and tools. I will be checking them out and will be going over this article again to remind myself of these techniques.

  8. Suella
    May 30 - 7:33 am

    If you are counting your pennies then an ordinary timer can work well too. I set mine for 30 minutes and then get up and do something else for a time.

  9. Cort Johnson
    May 30 - 12:05 pm

    I wonder if anyone’s finding that its easier to use Dragon’s Naturally Voice Recognition than typing? I think it is actually faster once you get the hang of it.

  10. Linda Danielis
    May 30 - 12:17 pm

    All of this is really interesting and seems really worthy of a research study. To make many of these recommendations practice in organisations would be a worthy pr objective. I tried a timer but cannot stand the tick tock, I guess digital may be a better answer. Making changes seems such an easy way to help improve workplace productivity and health and well being. The habit of lunch at the desk and shorter lunch breaks also does not help. Clearly computeritus syndrome is easily solved and managed best through behavioural changes encouraged by changes to IT systems. I wonder if occy health mags carry any more detail. I love Dragon and support the positioning change to call it productivity software as using it does enable quicker copy completion. The important thing though remains to have breaks, not just use it to achieve more over longer time periods.

  11. WillowJ
    May 30 - 5:52 pm

    hi, lots of good stuff in the article. I like the suggestion to keep light sources away. i try to do that but I have this one room with a window to the side. Probably why I wear out less fast in my chair in the other room with the window behind and light overhead.

    I do print out complex papers that I want to read. :)

    I didn’t try reading out loud because I wear out faster when I use my voice.

    I like f.lux to adjust the color on the monitor.

    The refresh rate does make a difference for me; the same spot, different monitor can make a difference. I have migraines which likely contributes to that, but this is common in people with ME.

    I might like to try Stillness Buddy.

    willow

  12. Art Kab
    May 31 - 12:11 am

    People here should recognise that electromagnetic fields — especially those of the high frequency range — are probably one of the main causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

  13. Zac
    Jun 06 - 6:11 am

    I can read books for hours, or eReaders (e-ink types) are great, too. Computers or mobile devices or even my camera can knock me out in 4 seconds.

    I just transfer web pages or computer docs over to my eReaders. It helps a lot.

  14. David Lachance
    Jul 29 - 9:03 am

    Hi, I’m a member of a french association from Quebec, Canada of people suffering from EM/CFS.
    We appreciate your article on that subject and we would like to traduce it to be able to give that information that can help a lot of people. If we have the permission we will have someone to traduce it for our next bulletin to our member. Do we have to ask to someone in particular? Thanks

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