Great ways tech and computers can help when you have osteoporosis

Many of us might break a bone sometime in our lives, but while for most people this is just a very rare occurrence, for those who have osteoporosis, bones can frequently break causing pain and leading to periods of time off work.

The condition means that your bones are weak causing them to break easily.  According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 75 million people in the USA, Europe and Japan are affected by the condition. 

How can using a computer help people who have osteoperosis?

Every time you use the keyboard you put pressure on your fingers and your wrist. If you have osteoporosis, you might find that fingers and wrists tend to break easily and often. So it might be worth exploring technology where you don't have to use your hands and wrists so much. 

Using a compact keyboard can help so you don't have to move your hands and fingers so much. A light touch keyboard might also be useful to consider.  As part of looking at different keyboards, you might even want to consider using some type of word prediction software, so that you don't have to use as many keystrokes. There are a number of packages available, such a Typing Assistant and WordQ

I've heard of voice recognition. Tell me more about this. 

Voice recognition is a really quick and easy way of getting your thoughts down on paper, without using a keyboard. Voice recognition is available for desktop and laptop computers and if you have a smartphone or a tablet there is voice recognition already installed.   

With the advent of devices like the Alexa Echo or Dot from Amazon you can use tech to not only to select music from your playlists, but you can also get information from the web about train times and even order take-away food without using hands and fingers.  

Google has also brought out a similar device called Google Home. There is lots of potential we see here at AbilityNet, lots of it was explored at our event  'Building Better Bots' recently.

I find it very difficult to take breaks at work. What can help me?

Ergonomix screen shot

Research shows that exercise is important if you have a condition such as osteoporosis (or various other conditions for that matter). But in many places of work it can be difficult to take breaks.  Software such as StretchClock can actually help you exercise at your desk.  Other software such as Ergonomix and Workrave is also work checking out.  Breaks can encourage you to go and get up and stretch or just go and put the kettle on for a hot drink and enjoy a bit of movement in the process.

How can we help?

AbilityNet provides a range of services to help disabled people and older people with technology and communications.

  • Call our free Helpline on 0800 269 545 and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will offer one-to-one help.
  • If you are in work your employer has a responsibility to make Reasonable Adjustments which include helping you with invisible illnesses. Find out more about how we help disabled in the workplace.
  • Arrange a home visit from one of our amazing AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
  • We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets talking about computers and vision impairment useful
  • My Computer My Way is our free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.