RSI? Carpal Tunnel? How to work smarter.
As more and more of us spend 8 hours or more a day sitting at our desks I am seeing many more technology related problems.
What is RSI?
RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury. This is any pain or injury that comes from performing the same task or being in the same position over and over again. Originally associated with factory workers on assembly lines it also includes things like tennis or golfers’ elbow as well as joint or muscle pain anywhere in the body from repeating the same task.
Common to all kinds of work with any form of repetitive motion or, more commonly, fixed position.
Is Carpal Tunnel an RSI?
True Carpal Tunnel isn’t BUT overuse can give us very similar symptoms;
- an aching in your wrist and hand
- tingling or numbness in your fingers
- pain up the arm and into the shoulder.
So you might find that you get more of these symptoms after long periods working.
So I need to stop working?
While this does, technically solve the problem, in a technological world even without work our lives revolve around phones, tablets and laptops and using these can be the problem. There’s a fabulous video at the bottom of this article which shows how we change our posture when we use our phones! (the article above is quite good too but the video is really good!)
We need to be smarter about our smart phones.
Try to sit so that
- your neck isn’t straining to support your head
- your shoulders are back and relaxed,
- your spine is long and supported
- your elbows and wrists are supported
- Ideally have your screen at eye height and straight in front of you.
Customer service people beware! If your screen is off to the side then you are likely to get pain from twisting to look at it.
While it’s fabulous that we can now work anywhere, crouched over a coffee table in a bar is going to cause a lot more discomfort than a properly set up desk and chair. All the big companies spend a lot of money on ergonomics to keep their employees healthy, spending a little time setting up your work space properly could save you a LOT of time in my work space!
And keep an eye on our Facebook page for some great stretches to keep you moving at your desk.