RSI and ergonomics
On this page:
RSI News and information
- Tips to avoid
contracting RSI -
Ergonomics News and information -
ergonomic office furniture and computer equipment -
and governmental issues.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Ergonomics is a term derived from two Greek words: “ergon”,
meaning work and “nomoi”, meaning natural laws. Ergonomists study
the human physiology in their relation to their work environment and
the demands this puts on the body.
As with computer mice, millions of people worldwide
have proven that continuous computer work using a standard mouse and
keyboard has a detrimental effect on the human body, in particular
the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints of the arm using the mouse and,
in many cases, both these sets of joints, including the neck, with
people who use the keyboard exclusively or excessively.
Luckily the industry, or at least the international
Worker Unions and various governmental departments, have now
recognised the risk of prolonged work on a keyboard, and we can now
choose from a variety of keyboards and keyboard layouts to ease the
strain on our fingers, wrists and arms.
But repetitive strain injury is not new. Since early
civilisation has there been evidence and recognition of detrimental
effects on the human body from prolonged exposure to or years of
For example, weavers using spinning wheels were
known to have developed painful wrists and flat thumbs, Egyptian
mummies have shown spinal deformations and injuries amongst the
pyramid labour forces from hauling blocks of stone for years.
Carpenters have been complaining about wrist injuries for hundreds
of years related to repetitive work. And so on.
Injury News and Information
The new pads, combined with a pen, can easily take
the place of a computer mouse. In fact, many people prefer this
combination over the use of the mouse alone for several reasons. It
does not require the hand to remain in the same - cramped - position
for long periods of time, and its precision in positioning is
better. The pen also allows you to draw. A function which the mouse
is poorly suited for.
The goal is to find a method of working at
repetitive task without these becoming detrimental to the body as a
whole and to specific areas in particular, like the fingers, wrists,
arms, shoulders, neck et cetera.
A few simple tips
take small breaks regularly, preferably
accompanied by stretching exercises,
getting away from the desk for a few minutes
use ergonomically approved desks and chairs
have a proper sitting or standing posture for the
avoid having to hover your hand for long periods
of time in the same position - as with the use of a computer mouse
use a combination of mouse and keyboard for
navigation and menu functions (many people use the mouse
exclusively to point and click all functions)
have someone qualified in ergonomics check your
workplace, the position of your computer in relation to your body,
Wrist pads are designed to reduce wrist fatigue
while using computers and calculators. They are part of the mouse
pad or placed at the bottom of the keyboard.
Soft sponge balls and gel exercises give your hands,
wrist and fingers a rest from cramped and stationary positions by
allowing you to exercise all muscles. Exercising the fingers from
long hours at repetitive tasks is not new. Chinese and Korean
alternative medicine has long recognised these problems. The small
box with three metal balls decorated by I Ching symbols is a common
site in Asian stores and street markets.
A new opportunity to contract a work environment induced physical
problem is the
mobile computing development.
Now, instead of sitting for hours behind a desk, we contort
ourselves on trains, planes and in automobiles to use our laptops,
handhelds and mobile phones. It looks like each new technology
brings more danger to our physical selves as well providing new
opportunities to work and do business.
Ergonomics news and
The following sites offer information, definitions and guidelines
to apply ergonomics to the working environment, whether it is
factory or office work.