How To Overcome These 11 Unfair Disadvantages Of Being Left Handed

It is estimated that around 10% of the world is left handed. While it is true that left handers process language, spatial relations and emotions in more diverse and potentially creative ways, the world is made for right handers. What makes left handers special is that they are generally more adept at using the weaker hand than a right hander.

Some of the biggest geniuses were left handed. Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Henry Ford, Ayrton Senna, etc.

Below are a list of 11 solutions to the many challenges of being a dominant left hander.

  1. How Left Handed Handwriting Should Be
  2. It’s all about the paper. Grip the pen/pencil 1 inch from the tip and slant the paper until your hand is constantly below your writing. Or, tilt the paper the other way. This way, you prevent smudging the ink all over and your wrist is at a neutral position.

  3. Writing On Notebook Binders
  4. Write from the back of the notebook forward or write only on the left side of the page (binders on right). Do know that if you intend to write on both pages, you face exactly the same problem as a right hander. Or, you can totally avoid the inconvenience by getting notebooks where the spiral is at the top.

  5. Using The Scissors
  6. A right handed scissors will never feel comfortable for a leftie. Either handed scissors are made asymmetrical to fit our hands. It is natural for the thumb to push out while the other 4 fingers pull in. That is why as a leftie, you tend to force the cutting blades laterally apart. Moreover, when using a right handed scissors, a leftie will have trouble seeing what is being cut. A temporary solution would be to twist your hand all the way around to cut. Otherwise, solve the issue by having with you either an ambidextrous or left handed scissors. A thing to note is that a left handed scissors is most comfortable as it is more ergonomic than the ambidextrous scissors.

    Continue reading How To Overcome These 11 Unfair Disadvantages Of Being Left Handed

6 Areas Of The Body Usually Affected By Repetitive Strain Injury RSI

I have been using the PC since I was 13. There were days when I grew uncomfortable using the PC within 2 hours of using it. Do you have these kind of days? Anyways, I found out about ergonomics when I was in university. We were taught how to sit right, type right and walk right. Since then, I became more conscious about my workplace. I positioned everything to their optimum ergonomic arrangement. Well, the only problem I have now is learning how to use the mouse with my left hand. Why? So that I can reduce the usage and risk of wrist pains. Anyways, here are the 6 most ergonomically affected body parts that you and I should take care of.

  1. Neck
    • Bad
      • phone cradled between neck and shoulder.
      • look down for extended periods without breaks.
      • tense the muscles as we work.

    • Good
      • when sitting at your desk, sit straight. This allows prevents stress and strain by distributing the body weight.
      • if you work at a computer, make sure the monitor is at eye level, so you can avoid looking down for extended periods of time. Learn how you can also reduce eyestrain in 6 steps.
      • if you spend a great deal of time on the phone, consider a headset or speaker phone.
      • Before the headset or speaker phone arrives, try switching the phone from one hand to the other as you talk.

  2. Shoulders
    • Bad
      • a head that is constantly leaning to the front
      • slumping shoulders

    • Good
      • the best elbow and shoulder position while keyboarding is when they form a 90 degree angle while at the sides from the shoulders.
      • it is important that the shoulders remain relaxed in a lowered position during keyboarding.
      • Exercise your shoulders by raising your forearms and pointing your hands to the ceiling while focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold and repeat for 5 seconds 5 times.
      • ‘wake up’ your shoulder and arms. Drop your hands to your sides then shake your relaxed hands, arms, and shoulders gently for 5 seconds 5 times.
      • If you are reading this, you must have a monitor. Make sure the upper portion is at eye level because the eyes are at their most comfortable position straight ahead but slightly downward. Makes it easiest to balance your head above your shoulders with the least muscular effort.

  3. Wrist
    • Bad
      • moving the mouse with your wrist
      • continuous mouse usage for more than 1 hour
      • clicking mouse buttons with the amount of strength that can flatten a roll of toilet paper
      • gripping the mouse like as if you wanna kill it for taking your cheese

    • Good
      • move the mouse by moving your elbow instead of keeping your forearm still and using your wrist.
      • limit how much you use your mouse or trackball. For me, I take a ‘song break’ by listening to my favourite song of the moment for each completed article.
      • use common keyboard shortcuts like ‘Ctrl+C’ to copy text and ‘Ctrl+V’ to paste text, to reduce the amount of time you spend using a mouse.
      • use a mouse with a scroll wheel to reduce repetitive arm motions.
      • clicking lightly help save your hands and wrists.
      • let go of your mouse during short periods when you’re not using it.
      • Check out how you to prevent yourself from getting carpal tunnel syndrome

  4. Back
    • Bad
      • back slumped forward.
      • prolonged sitting in office chairs.
      • lower back pain.
      • fatigue.

    • Good
      • stomach in, chest out. Don’t hunch.
      • keep head erect
      • make sure your lower back is supported. If the chair doesn’t give you support, consider using a small pillow between your lower back and your chair
      • What I do is drink a lot of water so that I have no choice but to take walks to the toilet.

  5. Pelvis, Hip, Knees
    • Bad
      • when standing, the pelvis, hip and knees will move into extension to keep the body position close to the center of gravity and minimize muscle tension. Standing too long affects all 3 joints.

    • Good
      • temporary relieve involves placing one pelvis, hip and knee into flexion, and regularly alternating legs.
      • try and support body parts that move away from the body’s center of gravity with made-for-support devices like leg rests, arm rests and wrist pads.

  6. Ankles

32 Full Body Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

If you’re reading this, you’re probably stuck at a desk job, probably typing away your time in front of the monitor, 9 to 5, five days a week. Sooner or later, the lethargy kicks in. You feel the stiffness of your neck, the dryness of your eyes and the stinging pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Most of us have to stick it out till the end of the day.

So what do we do?

The answer is simple.

Take mini breaks and perform short 5 minute easy exercises at intervals throughout the day.

Anyway, below is a list of exercises that anyone can perform even if she’s wearing a pair of high heels or mini skirt. Choose 1 exercise for each category and exercise every 45 minutes.

Eyes

  • Close your face with hand. Open your eyes and look into the darkness for 10 seconds. Now close your eyes and lower your hands. Stay at this position for 10 seconds. Repeat it all over twice.
  • Focus on a word from a document for 10 seconds.
  • Then focus at an object into the distance for another 10 seconds. Repeat twice.

  • Move your eye in a clockwise or anti clockwise direction, imagine moving along the edges of a big clock (12 – 1- 2), while keeping your head still all the while. Change directions after 10 rounds.

Neck

  • Tilt your right ear as if to touch your right shoulder. Feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Change sides after 10 repetitions.
  • Turn your head to look right and keep it there for 10 seconds. Change directions and keep it there for 10 seconds. Repeat twice.
  • Rotate your head in a clockwise position for 10 rounds. Now move it anticlockwise for another 10 rounds. Repeat twice.

Shoulder

  • Move your shoulders up towards your ears and sink your head as far as it may go. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat twice.
  • Hold a water bottle in your left hand, extending your left arm to the left while keeping the wrist facing up.
  • Push the water bottle up and slowly lower it to the original position. Repeat 10 times. Do the same for the left.

  • Rotate your shoulders clockwise/anticlockwise 10 rounds. Change directions and do 10 more rounds. Repeat twice.

Arm

  • Hold the water bottle in one hand.
  • Curl it for 10 times. Do the same for the other arm. Repeat twice.

  • Hold the water bottle at the back of your head with your left hand.
  • Straighten your arms towards the top slowly. Do this for 10 reps and do the same for your right hand.

  • Move your right forearm clockwise or anticlockwise, as if spinning a wheel, for 10 rounds. Change directions and do 10 more rounds. Do the same for the left forearm.
  • Stand up, make sure there is ample space in around you and swing your arms back and forth for 10 cycles. Rest awhile. Repeat twice.

Wrist

  • Put your hands straight in front of you and pull your fingers back from the top with the other hand. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Now hold your fingers back from the bottom for another 10 seconds before changing hands.

  • Put your hands straight out in front of you and rotate your wrists one direction for 10 rounds. Reverse your direction for another 10 rounds. Rest awhile. Repeat twice.

Fingers

  • Stretch your fingers as far as they can go. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Then bend them at the knuckles and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat twice.

  • Push all fingers onto the table as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Rest and repeat again twice.
  • Shake your hands vigorously in front of you, as if to get rid of a spider crawling on your hand, for 10 seconds. Rest awhile. Repeat twice.
  • Put your hands straight out in front of you. Pull each finger back one by one, pausing for 2 seconds at each finger.

Back

  • Interlace your fingers behind your back. Then turn your elbows gently inward, while straightening your arms. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat twice.
  • Space out in front of you. Bend your head down to as far as you can go and try to hug your knees. Feel a mild tension at the back. Hold for 10 seconds. Slowly come back up. Repeat twice.
  • Put your hands behind your lower back and push forward while bending your shoulders back to arch your spine. Hold for 10 seconds. Rest. Repeat twice.

Waist

  • Sit in an upright position. Slowly lower your right hand till it touches the floor. Feel the tension at the waist. Feel it. Hold for 10 seconds. Change sides. Repeat twice.
  • Hold on to the back of your chair with your left hand and turn your waist to as far right as you can go. Pull with your left hand to go further. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat the same for the other side. Do this twice.

Upper Leg

  • Put water bottle in between the knees. Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat twice.
  • Lift the left leg off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Do the same for the right. Repeat twice.
  • Extend your left leg as straight as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Do the same for your right. Repeat twice.
  • Stand up.
  • Slowly move your butt down, hovering just above the seat almost touching it, and then stand up again. Repeat 10 times.

  • Walk up 1 floor worth of stairs. If your office is on the 31st floor, stop at the 30th floor in the mornings, after lunch, etc, and walk.
  • Put your right feet on top of your left hip and push down your right knee to as far as you can go. Hold for 10 seconds. Change positions. Repeat twice.

Lower Leg

  • Push up your feet from the tip of your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Rest awhile. Repeat twice.
  • Try to kick your butt from the back with one leg for 10 times. Do the same for the other leg. Repeat twice.
  • Personally, I use an open source free software called Workrave, an excellent program that reminds me to take micro breaks and short breaks at intervals throughout the day. Download Workrave and mix up some of the exercises with the ones listed here.

    Do share your suggestions and ideas in the comments below.