programer hand toys

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Relax Your Hand When Not Actually Typing

When in a active type session such as coding or writing, perhaps more than 50% of the time your hand is actually not punching the keyboard. You constantly take a pause to read or think. This pause can be 1 second to 10 seconds or more. However, for many people, their hands are still tensed up during these times, ready to type. This is one major cause of RSI.

Remind yourself to check your hands when you are not actually in action of typing or using the mouse. See if your hand is not completely relaxed.

It's a good habit to develop to even remove your hand from the keyboard or mouse when you are not actively typing, even if the duration is just few seconds.

Hand Toys

Here's some fun toys i use that give my hand something to do, to take them away from the same muscle usage for typing or mousing.

So when i'm reading or thinking, it's a habit to pick these toys up and play with it unconsciously.

Squeeze Ball

Get a squeeze ball. amazon There are several types of squeeze ball. Some are spongy and light weight, requires little effort to squeeze, and spring back into shape immediately. Another type feels like clay. You have to squeeze hard with the whole hand for it to deform, and they deform slowly. I like them both very much.

Rubber Band

Get a rubber band. amazon Wrap them around all 5 fingers, then try to open the fingers. This is kinda reverse exercise to squeeze balls. With the right size of rubber band, you can easily expand your fingers once every second.

Pen Twirling

You might try to pickup Pen Spinning. Though, am not sure this is good for you. Learning the tricks can be addictive, and the constant pen dropping can be quite annoying to those around you. (In East Asia, majority of highschool students do some form of pen twirling. When walking into the class, you hear the sound of pen droppings all over.) Personally, pen twirling has become a unconscious habit for me since age 13.


It is universal advice that you should have 10 minutes of break every 2 hours. The exact schedule varies. I always take breaks. Some use a clock, but i tend to do it spontaneously. Every 2 hours or so, i'd get up and walk for 10 minutes or do some juggling during break. Been a juggler since age 17. amazon

chinese baoding exercise ball2

Chinese hand exercise iron balls

When talking a walk, i usually carry Chinese hand exercise iron balls It makes me looks like a Asian sage. (don't buy those with decorative inlaid brass wire on the ball surface. They look pretty, but if you dropped or chipped the ball, the metal wire may stick out. Get pure marble or metal ball. Also, most of them chime. I prefer them not, especially if you work in the office.)

  • “Chinese Exercise Ball (Stone)” amazon
  • “Chinese Exercise Ball (Metal)” amazon

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