Many jobs require workers to keep repeating the same motions or keep parts of the body in awkward positions. This can put excess pressure on the body and result in a repetitive strain injury.
Repetitive strain injuries can affect manual laborers and clerical workers. According to Medical News Today, it may be possible to prevent RSI.
General tips for preventing RSI
If the activity that is causing the strain is part of a person’s job, it may not be possible to avoid the activity completely. However, it may be possible to reduce the intensity to minimize the effect the activity has on the body. Examples of ways that workers can reduce the intensity of activities that cause RSI include the following:
- Regular exercise and a healthy diet to increase resilience
- Frequent stretching to relieve strain
- Regular breaks to prevent the pressure from building up
Specific tips for desk workers
Though many people may think of RSI in connection with manual labor, sitting at a desk and working on a computer is actually a more common cause. Desk workers can reduce their risk for RSI by improving ergonomics, i.e., improving the alignment of chairs, desks, computer screens and keyboards so that they can sit in as comfortable and relaxed a position as possible.
The use of a computer mouse can contribute to RSI. Using keyboard shortcuts whenever possible can help to minimize use of the mouse. If mouse use is necessary, it can help to slow the speed and to reduce muscle tension by not gripping it too tightly.
Some conditions contributing to RSI may be outside the worker’s authority to control, such as the temperature of the work environment. He or she could ask a supervisor if it would be possible to adjust the temperature.