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The workforce planning model should include employee well-being as this is a paramount issue for companies to ensure that their employees remain happy and motivated at work. After all, a happy workforce is a productive workforce.
Despite that, repetitive strain injuries are commonly seen among employees owing to overusing their hands to perform a repetitive task, such as typing, clicking a mouse, or writing. 5 to 10% of employees suffer from repetitive strain injuries but this can go up to 40% depending on the occupation.
What is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?
In simple medical terms, repetitive strain injury (RSI) is defined as a cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) stemming from prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward hand movements. So even fine hand movements when repeated hour after hour, day after day, thousands upon thousands of times, eventually strains the muscles and tendons of the forearms, wrists, and fingers and consequently damages them. This decreases the range of motion necessary for stress-free work and affects your muscles’ ability to contract.
RSI can affect more than just your hands and wrists. Poor posture can lead to severe neck and back injuries. Staring at a computer screen can lead to eye strain. Repetitively reaching for a mouse can lead to arm and neck strain as well as spinal asymmetry.
RSI often starts gradually and worsens as you continue to work, but it can become constant and debilitating if you do not improve the ergonomics of your workstation.
4 Tips to Avoid and Manage Repetitive Strain
Improve Your Posture
Having good posture is crucial. The height of your chair should allow your forearms to be horizontal with your desk, and your elbows should be at right angles. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, shoulders relaxed, upper arms by your sides, forearms horizontal or tilted slightly downwards, so that your knees and elbows are at a right angle.
Adjust Your Workstation
It is all in the wrist action for having a less-stressful workstation. Keep your wrists straight while typing and your keyboard directly in front of you so that it’s easy for you to reach it without needing to stretch. Your computer screen should be at your eye level, so that you do not have to strain your neck and should be positioned to avoid glare.
Take Regular Breaks
It is important for you to take short breaks regularly throughout your working day. Sitting in a static position for a long period can cause you to become tense and stiff. So get up from your desk and move around to allow your muscles in your hands and arms to relax. This can help to prevent repetitive strain injury from developing. You are advised to get up from your desk every 30 minutes and move your neck and shoulders to release tension.
Stretching Those Tensed Muscles
Stretching can help prevent and manage the symptoms of repetitive strain on your muscles and joints. Some employees experiencing repetitive strain during work found exercising regularly such as yoga, walking or swimming to be quite effective.
Every company’s workplace planning model should include their employees’ well-being, which in turn enhances their work productivity. For more tips on how to avoid Repetitive Strain Injury consider checking out an online resource such as Essential Wellness, for additional insights concerning managing employee well-being.