The Computer User's Survival Guide
arrived at a providential moment
— I had just started getting severe pains in my wrists. So the
first thing I did was to read part two, on Repetitive Strain Injury.
This helped confirm that RSI was indeed my likely problem and enabled
me change my work habits to stop things getting worse (I have also
seen a physiotherapist, whose advice was pretty much the same).
I then went back and read part one, which deals with basic health
around computers and with customising your work environment properly
(I'm raising my monitor at home, and getting a proper chair at work).
Eyestrain hasn't been a problem for me yet, but I read part three
preventively, discovering some useful information on monitor quality
and on different kinds of lighting (which has, quite independently
of any health concerns, convinced me to try using compact fluorescent
globes). I only skimmed part four, which covers stress, and part five,
on electromagnetic radiation, since I'm not so worried about these.
The appendices provide more information about equipment selection
and some pointers to other resources.
But the division of The Computer User's Survival Guide into parts is
just a convenience. Stigliani stresses a holistic approach to health
throughout, pointing out the links between RSI and eyestrain and stress
and poor working conditions. She also stresses self-reliance: as well
as background medical and technical information on health issues, she
offers practical advice — exercises you can do yourself, inexpensive
and non-disruptive ways of improving your working conditions, and
advice on dealing with doctors, employers and the legal system.
She is open to non-traditional forms of medical treatment, but
doesn't push them in an aggressive fashion. The Computer User's
Survival Guide is clearly laid out and straight-forwardly written,
and I really liked its style.
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