The RSI Awareness Day focuses on Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) and Mouse Arm
Mouse pain affects the work efforts of millions of people around the world. The International RSI Day, which will be held on February 29, will focus on how to prevent the widespread overuse injuries that result from bad work postures and repetitive movement.
What is RSI?
RSI is short for Repetitive Strain Injury. It is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. The condition mostly affects the forearms, elbows, wrists, hands, neck and shoulders, and is a well-known work-related disorder. The term mouse arm is also used when talking about Repetitive Strain Injury.
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Why do you get strain injuries?
RSI occurs as a result of overuse of upper body muscles and tendons. Several factors can increase the risk of RSI, including: repetitive movement, bad or awkward postures, cold temperatures, vibration equipment and stress. Tasks involving repetitive movement can lead to RSI. E.g. work at an assembly line, at the counter in a supermarket or on a computer.
If you work with a traditional computer mouse, you automatically keep your forearm and wrist in an unnatural position that causes overextension and twisting. Furthermore, you repeat the same movements over and over, thereby causing overuse of the muscles and ligaments in your hand.
How do you prevent or reduce strain injuries?
In order to overcome the recurring or chronic pain, our workplace needs to be organized so that it suits the needs of the individual employee. It is important that the individual has the possibility of variation and movement in the otherwise sedentary work with a mouse. Changing posture or moving around for 5 minutes for every hour is one of the best measures one could take against strain injuries.
When you work with your elbows close to your ribs, you are working in a comfortable and relaxed position. For this, the centred mouse, RollerMouse, is a great choice. You avoid overextension and twisting, as your hands rest on the mouse in a natural position and you move the cursor without straining your hands. No matter what type of mouse you choose, your mouse must be designed to provide good support for your hand or hands to avoid the cramp-like grip of the mouse.
Advice from the expert
We have asked one of the experts in ergonomics, licensed physiotherapist Stuart Nottingham from England, on how to effectively prevent or reduce strain injuries. He says: “When people use a standard mouse, you often see that they work with the mouse far away from their body. This increases the risk of pain, and today it is well documented that you can reduce this risk by working with the tip of the elbow close to your ribs ”.
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When working with a RollerMouse, your arms will naturally be close to your body in a comfortable and relaxed position, thus alleviating the problems of bad work postures.