REPETETIVE STRAIN INJURY
According to NHS: “repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse”.
In the UK, where many employees work in the office, there are almost half a million sufferers of RSI, a debilitating condition that anyone who performs repetitive tasks, such as typing, clicking the mouse or writing should know.
Poor ergonomic techniques by computer users such as awkward positions while sitting at your desk, overusing of hands are just two causes leading to this type of injury. In the long-term this may result in premature chronic degenerative changes.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Three primary risk factors are poor posture, poor technique, and overuse.
But you may be at risk for developing an RSI if you:
- Have a job that requires constant computer use, especially heavy input
- Don't take frequent breaks
- Working with equipment that doesn’t fit your body
- Holding your muscles in the same position for a long time
- Don't exercise regularly
- Work in a high-pressure environment
- Have arthritis, diabetes, or another serious medical condition
- Keep your fingernails long
- Have an unhealthy, stressful, or sedentary lifestyle
- Weigh more than you should
- Don't sleep well
- Are afraid to ask for better working environment
Repetitive Strain Injury usually affects the individual’s shoulders, neck, forearms, elbows, hands and wrists, causing symptoms such as:
- Burning, tenderness and aching of joints
- Sore wrist and back pain
HOW TO PREVENT THE RSI: THREE STEPS
The first one, crucial step, is checking your posture from four points of view:
- Monitor eye level
- Keyboard at around elbow height
- Sitting with your back straight and fully supported
- Wrist position on keyboard ( must be neutral )
The second one is by keeping your body moving at the workplace and once back home:
Taking breaks from a repetitive task can help dramatically. For example it is strongly suggested to get up from your desk every 30 minutes and have a 10 minute break each hour. When you are back home, try to do some sport, possibly aerobic that can include activities like brisk walking, swimming, running, or cycling.
The third step is where we at ODM can help by equipping you with desk objects that allow you to maintain a correct posture by default.
For examples these can be:
- Ergonomic Keyboard
- Keyboard and Mouse wrist rest
- Telephone/computer stand
- Trackball mouse
- Sit height adjustable desk
- Ergonomic Chair