StretchWare, a software utility for Windows & Macintosh computers, makes an astonishing claim on their home page: “If you work at a computer, there is a good chance you will eventually suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”
A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in 2001 found that “heavy computer use, even up to seven hours per day, did not increase a person’s risk of carpal tunnel syndrome,” and that only “10.5 percent of the study participants, all of whom used computers extensively, met clinical criteria for CTS”.
And a health report about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome reports that “the evidence implicating computer use as a major cause of CTS is weak”.
I suppose it’s a matter of opinion whether 10.5% is a “good chance” or not.
Perhaps by saying “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”, StretchWare is actually referring to RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), the general category of musculoskeletal disorders, of which Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is just one very specific diagnosis. But for a company that is selling a product that is supposed to help protect users from RSI, such sloppy use of language certainly doesn’t instill much confidence in the accuracy of the information they’re offering.