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Discussion on: Hand and wrist pain?

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codeluggage profile image
Matias Forbord

Great advice in this thread! I will add a long term solution: vim.

After I began using vim years ago, all these issues went away. My pain came from the excessive switching between using a mouse pad and the keyboard, in addition to using modifier keys to move around (like ctrl+left).

Vim is an investment, but it can be learned incrementally. Here are some steps I recommend:

  • Add it to your editor, don't replace your editor. Almost all editors have a vim plugin so you get the shortcuts.
  • Start with just a few shortcuts; hjkl instead of arrow keys, w and b instead of ctrl+arrow keys, and i/I and a/A to go into insert mode.
  • Change caps lock to escape. That way you have all you need on the "home row" and your wrists can rest easy.
  • Start small. Try for 10-20 minutes when you need to read some code. Just try to move around with these keys and then toggle off the plugin (or just stay in insert mode).
  • When you catch yourself thinking "I wish I could just do X", recognize that feeling and do a quick search online to figure out how to do it. Write down the new shortcut on a sticky note, for example, and savor the feeling of getting a tiny bit better :)

It's a long journey but extremely worth while. Nothing has improved my work with text as much as vim has.

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lcoenen profile image
Loïc Coenen

I second that. I recently had the pain in my pinky though, because I use the terminal a lot and I need to make an odd movement to reach enter or backspace.

Now I remapped it - right cmd (right alt) is now enter, right opt is escape, and left option is backspace.