StretchWare’s Claim Is A Stretch

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.

Randy Rasa

Randy is an engineer/programmer/web designer who has suffered from repetitive strain injury off and on for over a decade.

One Comment:

  1. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm

    “How can carpal tunnel syndrome be prevented?

    At the workplace, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, wear splints to keep wrists straight, and use correct posture and wrist position.”

    from: – The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, is the federal government’s leading supporter of biomedical research on neuropathy, including carpal tunnel syndrome.

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