Re: [NTLK] [OT] Speech Recognition & wrist stress

From: Ryan Vetter <>
Date: Thu May 21 2009 - 14:25:09 EDT

Think of your tendons and bones/joints being bent and twisted in a fixed position for long periods of time. The muscles, tendons and joints will strain as a result: inflammation will set in for starters. Long periods of this can also cause arthritis and deformation of bones and joints. This latter would be the extreme of course and not something to be alarmed about...

When thinking of building muscle, yes, you build up some muscle in the hands and at the wrist as a result of typing for long periods of time, but at an expense...

We are essentially committing ourselves to isometric contractions (flexing the muscle at the joint, at a fixed angle, for a set period of time): bodybuilders, for example, do not do isometric contractions of one muscle group all day long: they do it for about 10-20 seconds in sets on different muscle groups during their workout, that is, if they even do isometric contractions in their workouts.

Isometric training is quite focused and gets cycled into weekly training routines. All in all, isometric training is phased and mixed into one's regular exercise routine, and is but a small component of it. One of the reasons is such that, it is very, very hard on the body (the joints and muscles) and is not something that is healthy or sustainable in long bouts. It does build muscle though, but it also injures joints and tears muscles, tendons and ligaments if done in excess.

If you have not guessed it, I used to be a certified fitness trainer and did some University in the area, along with pre-med.

Recognizing all of this, and having to do something about my now aching hands, I have adopted speech and, surprisingly, my production has gone up because it is faster than typing.

All the best.


----- Original Message ----
From: James Fraser <>
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 9:41:49 AM
Subject: Re: [NTLK] [OT] Speech Recognition & wrist stress


Ryan mentioned something I found of particular interest:

>Yes it helps, because my wrists are not as hyperextended when inputting >with a stylus, and it is this hyperextension at the wrist that has caused >my tendinitis, despite my hands and posture being correct.

Does the very act of typing require that the wrist be more or less hyperextended in order to reach the keys? I've never really thought about that before.

I ask because, based on the above, I'm left with the impression that one can indeed "follow all the rules" regarding seating, posture, hand/wrist positioning and *still* end up damaging one's hands. That is, typing for extended periods is going to put an inordinate strain on your hands no matter what preventative measures a user takes. How long it takes for the damage to catch up to the end user in question is dependent on their particular physiology.

>In addition, our wrists/hands do not move that much when we type, which >further exacerbates the problem by straining the smaller muscle groups in >those areas.

So what is the difference between "straining" a muscle group and building it up?

I guess that, based on my limited understanding of physiology, I keep thinking that typing for hours on end should "build up" muscles rather than strain them. Of course, maybe the problem lies in that bodybuilders take a day off between workouts to give their muscles a chance to rebuild. A typist typing away furiously for eight hours or more, for five days straight, week after week, may not, perhaps, be giving their body the opportunity to rest that it needs?


James Fraser

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Received on Thu May 21 14:26:40 2009

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