Computer Safety and Ergonomics:
How to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury
What is RSI?
RSI, or Repetitive Strain Injury, is a condition caused by repetitive motion. In most cases, RSI affects the neck, knees, wrists, back, and fingers. By sitting in one position and performing repetitive motions such as typing and looking at a computer screen, the body can experience strain and muscle fatigue. Over time, RSI can cause permanent nerve injury and become a debilitating condition. It is vital that workers and those who sit or stand in a job where repetitive motion is required be educated about how to prevent injury.
The symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury can vary, but almost always consist of pain. The neck or back can feel constant strain, and fingers or wrists can become painful to maneuver. A feeling of weakness is often accompanied by shooting pangs of pain. Numbness in the arms or hands can also be a symptom, and can cause alarm or fear that other issues such as a potential heart attack are taking place. Some people who suffer from severe RSI cannot operate a keyboard or personal objects effectively because of the intense pain.
Fortunately, there are ways people can avoid being a victim of R S I. First, take plenty of breaks while sitting and working at a computer. Get up from your desk and take a short walk. Stretching of the neck, back, and fingers is essential in preventing disease. Be sure to follow proper sitting procedures so that your neck, eyes, and wrists are comfortable and not strained. Be sure you are typing in the proper ergonomic position. Use a wrist guard or wrist rest at the keyboard and mouse so you are getting the proper support. Try to use larger fonts so your eyes are not strained, and perform some deep breathing exercises while seated at your desk to stay relaxed.
Ergonomics is the science of using proper motion, posture, and equipment to ensure people are sitting or working in a way that will not cause injuries. The use of ergonomics can apply to just about any situation from offices to construction sites. How a person sits, types, or uses machinery can make a huge difference in the way they feel overall, and by using ergonomics in every day life, you can ensure you will not experience Repetitive Strain Injury. By adapting the way you sit or work, you can help keep your neck and spine aligned and prevent injury to the hands and wrists. Simple classes or reading more about ergonomics can help to educate people about the proper way to function in their daily lives.
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