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Repetitive Stress Injury

When a coworker came into the office sporting a wrist guard to alleviate a flare-up of her (recurrent) carpal tunnel syndrome, it hit me that even sitting here, growing our asses fatter by the day, we office workers are not safe from injury.

You might think of repetitive stress injuries (RSI) linked to the repetitive motions of factory workers (Laverne and Shirley et. al.), but in fact, a mouse can be as dangerous as a power tool over the long run. According to the American Institute of Stress, "75-90% of employee visits to hospitals are for ailments linked to stress," while "$200 billion a year is lost to industry [in the U.S.] from stress-related ailments." But to hell with your boss - take care of yourself! Says www.repetitive-strain-injury.com, "RSI is a treatable condition. However, it is important to remember that once a case of RSI becomes too serious, it may not be curable." (And don't expect paid time off to recover or worker's comp...) If you regularly feel pain or tingling while working on a computer, you must change your work position to avoid permanent injury!

Quickie Workstation Ergonomics

There is plenty of info on the Internet on this.

Desktop Exercises

It is important to get up at least once every 30 mins to walk around and stretch. Every few minutes, relax your hands by your sides and focus your eyes on a distant point. Stretching exercises can help you prevent RSI, but should be undertaken with caution: use a slow, controlled effort, do NOT bounce (which can stretch muscles beyond their capacity), and ease back from the point of pain (which is a warning sign of potential tissue damage).

Further information can be found on these websites:

If you know a doctor in Taiwan who treats RSI, please let us know!