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Preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) at Work

11 May 2022

Working in an office is not as easy as it may seem. Each year, millions of workers around the world are diagnosed with office-related injuries. Many people, including those who work in an office, are still not properly aware of the medical conditions associated with workplace exposure. Most office-related injuries are a result of poor posture due to inadequate and non-ergonomic furniture, but repetitive tasks and actions like typing can lead to injury as well.

Working at an office typically entails doing the same thing over and over again, as well as being forced to sit in unpleasant postures for long periods. These and other office-related tasks may cause repetitive strain injury (RSI).

What Is Repetitive Strain Injury?

Repetitive stress injuries are induced by repetitive daily movements. These moves put a lot of pressure on your body, which can eventually cause damage to your tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves.

At work, whether you're working on a computer or carrying heavy boxes, can lead to repetitive stress injuries. They may also happen when you do the same thing over and over again, like swinging a tennis racquet or throwing a baseball. Going to the office is inevitable, so the only option left is to look at the tips that can help prevent RSIs.

1. Use A Proper Typing Posture

Proper typing posture requires the following:

· Maintain a level foot on the ground and a straight neck and spine.

· Adjust your elbows to a 90–110-degree angle.

· Maintain a neutral posture for your wrists.

· Adjust the monitor's height so that the top of the screen is at eye level.

· Include ergonomic typing accessories.

Also, make sure that your keyboard is in the correct position. You can either keep a flat keyboard flat on your desk or slightly inclined away from you at all times while you're typing. Negative tilting isn't necessary if your keyboard is tented and spread since it's already elevated off your desk. While many keyboards include small legs to raise the keyboard and generate a favorable tilt, this strategy keeps your wrists extended the whole time and may be highly taxing.

Consider adjustable keyboards if you're looking to replace your current keyboard with one that's more comfortable to use. It is the goal of these keyboards to lessen the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries and to make work more enjoyable for everyone.

2. At All Costs, Avoid Slouching

To keep your spine and back muscles healthy, you have to be mindful of your posture. Sit straight up when you’re sitting in your office chair and make sure that your feet touch the ground. You have to be extra careful if you are someone who is used to slouching. Because you’ll be sitting in front of the computer for several hours, slouching for longer periods can seriously damage your spine. Not to mention, bad posture not only looks unattractive but also affects your confidence and self-esteem.

Bad posture is the most common cause of RSI. Notice if you have to lean forward towards your keyboard to be able to type. It’s time to readjust your chair so you can type comfortably and with proper posture.

3. Take Regular Breaks

"Take regular breaks." Whatever you do, never ignore this advice. It may seem like something that you can easily do, but it’s not. When you’re so immersed and focused on your work, it can be difficult to leave it halfway just so you can take a break. We often end up telling ourselves that we’ll take a break as soon as we’re done with this task. And then we end up sitting in front of the computer for three hours straight. That's why it's important to just leave your desk for a few minutes, even if it means losing your razor-sharp concentration.

It is also important to not remain on your desk when you are taking a break. You can take a small walk around the office if you can. Or you can simply go and grab a coffee or a little snack. Stretching is also a good way of keeping your posture and muscles in check, and the pro is that you can do it while you are taking your break.

4. Exercise And Eat Healthy

We have all heard this advice a million times in our lives. But just because it’s annoying to hear doesn’t mean it’s not true. It is a known fact that a lack of cardiovascular exercise is one of the leading causes of heart attacks. But here’s something that is not very well-known: lack of cardio can also put you at a greater risk of developing RSIs. So, if you don’t want to live a short and miserable life, just go for a run once in a while.

Also, incorporate healthy foods into your diet. Make sure you eat lots of fruits and veggies. Calcium is also important to keep your musculoskeletal system fit, so ensure that you intake an adequate amount of dairy or other calcium-containing foods.

Final Word

As people spend more time using technology in the workplace and at home, the incidence of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) has increased. In order to get the work done, there are certain things we must ignore. We can, however, lower our chance of developing RSI in the future if we keep an eye on our own health and the environment in which we operate.