Under the Health & Safety at Work Act published in 1974 and the Health & Safety at Work Regulations published in 1999, your employer is required to prevent any work-related injury that could have been avoided. Employers are also responsible for making sure that any existing aren’t made worse by working conditions or working environment. Repetitive strain injury is a term that encompasses a wide array of ailments and caused by repeat exposure to an activity that puts and undue amount of stress on a certain part of the body.
It is much easier to try and avoid the root causes than it is to adjust and recover once it’s too late, after all the repeat activity that’s causing the problem is no doubt a major part of your day-to-day working life. Often caused by being sat at a computer or workstation all day, here are some easy to follow tips to help you avoid the pain and impact of repetitive strain injury:
- Move your working area around to suit your position and posture; don’t let it dictate how you arrange yourself.
- Alter your equipment if it is not ergonomic! Don’t put up with it, replace it.
- Make sure your posture is correct; an adjustable chair can definitely help. Although they are expensive they’re much less costly then a bad back and constant discomfort.
- Make sure your desk is the right height for you and not your chair. Just heightening it with something under the legs or lowering it by shortening the legs with a saw will do if the desk isn’t adjustable itself.
- Getting a fully adjustable keyboard will make a huge difference, once you try one you’ll realize!
- Have a few different mice! If you rotate between the different designs will reduce repetitive movements. There are many different options including trackballs that take a bit of getting used to and vertical mice that reduce pronation and twisting of the wrist. Both will help avoid RSI.
- Having a document holder at head height behind your keyboard and next to your monitor helps you keep your posture and your head upright.
- Make sure your monitor is at the right height and distance for you, in line with your eye line and far enough away for your arms to be almost straight with a slight bend when typing. If using a laptop, try a stand.
- Enquire about RSIGuard Software, it will give you essential information about how your everyday behaviour is damaging your wellbeing.
- Don’t hang about! Your body will put up with the strain you put on it for quite a while but once it stops holding up, recovery can be long and painful.