Your hands and arms are used thousands of times every day for all manner of movements and gestures. Your body is designed to do these movements effectively and efficiently, but if you do not take care of your posture and positioning when undertaking these repetitive activities, you may cause yourself injury. Repetitive strain injury (or RSI) occurs when repetitive movements throughout the body combine with poor posture and not taking enough breaks from activities. These circumstances can result in injuries to muscles, tendons, and nerves. By following these simple rules, you can minimize these risks and ensure that you continue to live a full and active life free of easily avoidable injury.
Warm-up before exercise
This is a simple tip but one that is often overlooked. If you are about to undertake physical exercise (especially if it involves repetitive movements), always warm up in the beginning. Here are some effective warm-up exercises to do before any activities that use repetitive movements on your wrists and hands. Remember that warm-up exercises will help to reduce stiffness or pain in your muscles.
Consider your working environment
For most adults, a considerable proportion of their time is spent at work. If your work involves being seated at a computer, long hours and bad posture with few breaks can increase the risk of RSI. Your health and safety department will advise on factors such as the correct height and distances for your computer equipment. Seating and leg positioning is also key to ensuring a good posture. In most organizations, manual handling and safety at work will be part of your mandatory training and will include information on how to minimize RSI in an office environment. RSI can be a problem in any workplace, and effective research has produced practical information on how to combat RSI in the dental industry as well as in other healthcare settings where repetitive movements take place.
Educate your children about RSI
For better or worse, this world is dominated by computers, tablets, and mobile phones. A significant amount of time can be spent on these devices, especially with children. From the teenager who sits in his or her room, glued to the computer on the latest video games to children constantly texting their friends, RSI risk is increased. It makes profound sense to educate your children on the risks that RSI poses. Here is a good guide on this subtopic that will allow you to effectively educate and monitor your children when they use these devices. Knowledge of the risks of RSI at an early age will help your children to be mindful of their posture and the time spent on computers, phones, and tablets. The aim being to minimize the risk of RSI as they grow up and to continue the good practice into their adult years.
To Sum up
The three rules above should serve to help you and your family be more aware of the potential dangers posed by RSI. Knowledge and awareness are key factors in ensuring that injury risks are reduced.