I also suffered from RSI, more specifically tennis and golfer’s ellbow on both arms. After 3 years I’m not cured, and i don’t think I’ll ever be completely free of symptoms. But thanks to my doctor and physiotherapist i can now handle prolongued sessions of work or computer play again, although i must be careful not to overdo it (eg. not playing 3-days in a row for 10+ hours straight).
I’ve slowly upgraded my ergonomics, I got myself “the keyboard of the gods” (the latest MS Natural keyboard) but I’ve also been using something i can HIGHLY recommend to anyone, symptoms or not:
The ErgoRest forearm support:
It’ll cost about 300-600$ but it’s one of the things that, once you got used to it, you don’t want to miss it. Ever!
If I’m working on a computer that doesn’t have forearm support i feel the strain on the ellbows and shoulder within 10 minutes of working. After 30-60 minutes i start to feel pain which lasts for hours, kind of like sore muscles.
Here’s some more info about Tennis elbow for those interested:
About the overall workplace ergonomics i feel differently though. If you really try what they suggest, you end up sitting in a stiff and rather uncomfortable way and you actually have to force yourself into that position. I’ve never seen anyone who can sit “ergonomically” as suggested for more than 10 minutes. There are some recommendations you should really consider, eg the approximate placement of your screen, or that you should look at it in a 90 angle.
But it’s also been mentioned that, similar to food, there is just no “right” way in ergonomics and the REAL issue is just to not sit too long in the same position. Lean back and slide into your chair for half an hour, then sit straight up with your ellbows on the table and your head resting in your hands (ok, that’s only for reading Jeff’s blog), etc. etc.
Diversification is the key, not trying to strictly adhere to the rules of ergonomics. Any continued stress on one part of your body is going to build up stress, so change how you sit often. That’s my advice.