Repetitive stress injury is pain or discomfort caused by excessive movement in the same position without sufficient breaks. According to HealthDay, this phenomenon affects almost 2 million workers each year, and it is the cause of almost one third of all missed work days. Whether you do manual labor or work in front of a computer, you may be at risk for RSI. Therefore, you should understand the causes of this injury as well as how to prevent it. RSI could have a variety of symptoms:
- localized pain
- lack of feeling
- burning or tingling limbs
If you do manual labor, make sure that the equipment you use is strong enough to bear the stress of your work. If your tools are subpar, your body may be overcompensating and overexerting itself. This lack of balance could lead to injury after an extended period of time. Even if your tools are sufficient for the job, you should still take regular breaks in order to allow your body to recuperate.
In an office setting, sitting at a computer for many hours each day may increase your risk of RSI. In order to minimize its effects, you should arrange your workspace in an ergonomic fashion. If possible, place your computer monitor near eye level, and arrange your keyboard so that your hands are at the same level as your elbows. Lowering the keyboard level to allow you to relax your shoulders may also minimize stress on your arms and back. Even if it may seem inconvenient, stop your work for a short break every fifteen minutes, and take a longer break to stand up and stretch every half hour.