Repetitive Strain Injury: The Facts

Tuesday, 11 July 2017  |  Admin

Learn About Repetitive Strain Injuries with our Infographic

Rates over the years (% of all workplace injuries)

  • 2015/16: 41%
  • 2014/15: 44%
  • 2013/14: 42%
  • 2012/13: No Data
  • 2011/12: 41%
  • 2010/11: 44%

Who's at Risk?

  • Agriculture Workers: Repeat wrist twisting (such as weeding) can strain tendons and tissue
  • Anyone at a computer: Typing and moving a mouse around aggravates the same muscles repeatedly
  • Video Gamers: Constantly hammering away at a controller or keyboard can quickly wear on tendons and muscles
  • Builders: Repeated wrist turning, such as layering on mortar, easily makes wrists sore and painful

Symptoms on the Hand and Wrist

  • Numbness that makes holding items difficult
  • Weakness in your hands or forearms
  • Swelling to the affected area
  • Aches in your wrist joint
  • Tenderness in your muscles and joints
  • Pain in your muscles and joints

Stages of RSI

  • Stage 1 (Mild): Symptoms only show during the working day
  • Stage 2 (Moderate): Symptoms show earlier in the working day
  • Stage 3 (Severe): Symptoms are constant, even away from work
  • Type 1: Specific and clear damage to tissue (swelling, inflammation, et cetera)
  • Type 2: General pain and discomfort with no clear external signs

Causes of RSI

  • Repetitive activities that overuse your muscles
  • Poor posture reduces blood circulation to your arms
  • Cold temperatures brought on by drafts or air conditioning
  • Stress can increase muscle tension
  • Carrying heavy loads repeatedly over a long period
  • Smoking can adversely affect blood flow

Cost of RSI to Employers

RSI is easily manageable if caught early. Refusing to acknowledge the condition or doing the bare minimum to alleviate it can lead to high costs, including:

  • Lost productivity amounting to £300 million per year
  • Sick days for recovery and hospital visits
  • Fees must be pain to employee if at fault
  • Paying and training temporary employees

5.4 million working days are lost in sick leave

6 workers per day lose their jobs forever because of RSI

Prevention

  • Stand up and stretch regularly. Set reminders if you can't remember yourself
  • Make sure your workstation is ergonomically optimised
  • Quit smoking to help restore blood flow
  • Take a break if you're feeling tired; don't wait for symptoms to begin
  • Eat and drink nutritious food to aid muscle memory
  • Exercise regularly and stay in good shape

Learn Keyboard Shortcuts to Reduce Typing or Using the Mouse

Posture

  • Keep your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor
  • Your screen should be an arm's length away
  • Eyes should be level with the top of the screen
  • Make sure your lower back is supported
  • Rest your feet on the floor
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