Tips to Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury

8 Mar 2019

Every year, on the last day of February it is International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day.

It is a day to bring awareness to work related injuries caused by repetitive moments and it’s a condition that can affect workers worldwide.

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an umbrella term for a number of overuse injuries affecting the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and nerves) of the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands.

These injuries begin with aches and pains and may progress to disorders that prevent sufferers from working or leading normal lives.

Top 10 Tips to Help Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) 

1. Take breaks, especially when using your computer. Every hour or so, get up and walk around, get a drink of water, stand up and stretch your muscles if they feel tight and look at something far away to rest your eyes for a few moments. 

2. Use good posture. If you’re struggling to maintain good posture then you probably need to adjust your workstation or chair. 


3. Use an ergonomically optimized workstation to reduce strain on your body. 


4. We hate to tell you this, but exercise regularly. Strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises like yoga or Pilates would be very beneficial. 


5. Only use the computer as much as you have to. Don't email people when you could walk down the hall or pick up the phone and talk to them. It's not only better for your hands - it's friendlier. Think before you type. 


6. Don't stretch for the hard-to-reach keys, e.g. BACKSPACE, ENTER, SHIFT, CONTROL... basically everything but the letters. Instead, move your entire hand so that you may press the desired key with ease. 


7. Let your hands float above the keyboard when you type, and move your entire arm when moving your mouse or typing hard-to-reach keys, keeping the wrist joint straight at all times. This lets the big muscles in your arm, shoulder, and back do most of the work, instead of the smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable muscles in your hand and wrist. If you find it difficult to do this, then your shoulder and back muscles are probably too weak. It is OK, and in fact a good idea, to rest your elbows/wrists when you are not typing. 


8. Use two hands to type combination key strokes, such as those involving the SHIFT and CONTROL keys. 


9. When writing, avoid gripping the writing utensil tightly. Someone should be able to easily pull the writing utensil out of your hand when you are writing. If your pen or pencil requires you to press too hard, get a new one. 


10. Realize that you are not invincible. RSI can happen to you. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Evolve House
Dyffryn Park
CF82 7TW
Ystrad Mynach, Glamorgan
United Kingdom

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