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Over and over

The pain of RSI

Author: Sharon Ensbury/19 March 2015/Categories: HEALTH & SAFETY, Personal safety at work

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Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, can be defined as pain or discomfort caused by repeating the same physical task over and over again. It’s also a growing area of concern for many businesses, with almost half a million British workers affected with pain or musculoskeletal injuries, according to recent statistics. With research into this field still fairly new and treatment not always effective, the best way to manage RSI is through prevention.


When you start a job, your employer has an obligation to make sure your work area is comfortable and suited to your task – they will generally carry out a risk assessment in order to do so. However, any sort of task that requires making the same movements over and over will eventually take its toll if steps aren’t taken to minimise the damage. Taking regular breaks from your work, even for a minute or two, performing simple stretching exercises and maintaining good posture are all easily implemented ways to reduce the risk of RSI.

It is said that the great artist Michelangelo, after years spent atop ladder platforms painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, could only read things by tilting his head back and looking at them as he held them above his head. While such repetitive strain injuries sound extreme, RSI should not be dismissed. Even though researchers have yet to pinpoint why some people are affected and not others, the fact remains that it costs British businesses millions of pounds each year in lost working time, sick pay and administration costs.

So perhaps it’s time to take a look at your workplace and analyse the risks. Does employee seating provide back support, are computers and desks set at a comfortable height, and are regular rest breaks scheduled into the working day? Even incorporating a short stretching routine into the day can make all the difference. It’s also important to comply with existing legislation regarding RSI in the workplace – doing so not only minimises the risk of injury occurring, but also reduces the potential for claims to be made.

At Action Handling, we stock a range of ergonomically designed office chairs, desks, workbenches and standing workstations. So, if it’s time to upgrade, visit us online or please contact our sales team.
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