In addition to the following tips, check out the prevention and treatment sections.

Stop typing

If you feel discomfort, because your arms are tired from being held in a certain position, or your neck is getting stiff, or your legs are cramping up, get up and stretch and walk around for a while. Listen to your body! You shouldn't stay at a computer for a long stretch of time and this tiredness is your body's way of telling you that.

If you have linux or windows, you should be using Workrave. If you start feeling pain, stop typing. Use workrave, and time things so that you stop five minutes before you will feel pain. If you are always in pain, stop typing entirely. Pain is your body's way of saying that you need some time off. If you feel tempted to type anyway, you probably have a class deadline, comps deadline or a conference deadline. With a doctor's note, you should be able get an extension on the class/department deadlines, and there will be other conferences!

Contact the ergonomics merc

Email It is the ergo merc's job to walk you through the following steps and point you to other resources.

See a doctor

Call and make an appointment with Brown Health Services at (401) 863-3953. They'll do a brief exam, and give you braces. Depending on your pain level (or if this is a repeat visit), they will write you a referral for a specialist. You may have to wait up to several weeks for a specialist so do this right away. If your problems are serious, you also want to get a referral for physical therapy.

Workstation evaluation

The ergo merc can help you adjust your workstation, and make recommendations for changes. You can also get a workstation evaluation through the university's occupational safety specialist (email the ergo merc for details). The department will work with you to make the suggested changes. 

Alternative computing

The department has a pool of ergonomic equipment. You can check out keyboards or pointing devices for two to three weeks. See the equipment page for a list of what we have, and contact the ergo merc to arrange for the loan.

Disability Support Services

If an injury is interfering with your academic work, contact Disability Support Services at (401) 863-9588. You'll eventually need a note from a specialist, but their resources can be available immediately with a note from Health Services. They can give you an official note for your professors, help you find note takers or lend you a tape recorder. They can also put a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking on a library computer for your use.