Does Touch Typing Cause RSI? (Repetitive Strain Injury)
If you don't play any sports, you are likely to have less injury than a pro. But you won't be as capable, and more prone to injury, given the same load.
In a similar way, this is so for touch typing.
If you do not touch type:
- You are less likely to write documentation.
- Your function or variable names may suffer from laziness.
- You are less likely to be a blogger.
- You are more prone to injury, backpain, eye strain, frustration, given same amout of typing for a touch typist.
THE BEST WAY TO AVOID INJURY IS NOT TO GO PRO!
Sure, you can Hunt-and-Peck as a programer and still be considered a fast coder, but it isn't a good ergonomic advice. Given a fixed amount X of typing, and if X is large, the difference between Hunt-and-Peck and touch-type will show, with respect to performance and health.
Maybe you don't write a lot emails or docs or blogs, but other programers do.
If you don't touch-type, that also means you are likely to write less documentation for your code.
Here is two celebrity coder Steve Yegge and Jeff Atwood on this issue:
- [Programming's Dirtiest Little Secret By Steve Yegge. At http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/09/programmings-dirtiest-little-secret.html , accessed on 2013-10-06 ]
- [We Are Typists First, Programmers Second By Jeff Atwood. At https://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/11/we-are-typists-first-programmers-second.html , accessed on 2013-10-06 ]
Some programers claim Hunt-and-Peck is best practice to avoid RSI. I have on record 2 notable programers saying this to me in public forum/blog.
My recomendation for avoiding RSI while typing a lot is very simple: don't touch type. Use just three or four fingers and the thumb. I've been doing this for 20+ years now, and can type at around 40+ words per minute, which is generally faster than I can think.
source: comment at
Matt Garman writes:
Does anyone have any thoughts on keyboarding injuries, in particular those caused by “chording” (pressing multiple keys simultaneously)?
Easy: don't touch-type.
That will make sure that you move your hands enough to avoid any problem. Emacs and its “few (tho complex) key strokes” approach compensates for the slower typing. And typing speed is not relevant anyway since you'll spend more time thinking about what to write.
Do you mean to say that touch typing is unhealthy in general…
Just that I've known several people who suffered from RSI and several people who can't touch-type and the two sets are disjoint. A correlation between the two is expected (people who type a lot are more likely to know how to touch-type), but the fact that the two sets are actually disjoint is I think more than a coincidence. If you look at people who don't touch-type (like me), you'll see their hands move a lot, so their arms work more and their hands and fingers work less.
Typing Habits, Repetitive Strain Injury
What is Touch Typing?
How to Touch-Type
- Does Touch Typing Cause RSI? (Repetitive Strain Injury)
Typing Games, Typing Tests
Typing of the Dead
- Bad Advices from Programer
- How People Actually Type?
How to Press Control Key (Palm-Control)
Proper Sitting Posture
- How Many Words Do You Type a Day?
- Undo Cut Shortcut Keys Are Bad
- Mechanical Keyboard and RSI
Keyboard Tenting, Forearm Pronation
- Touch-Typing, a Relic of Keyboard Design?
- How to Increase Efficiency in Using Mac, Linux, Windows