RSI And Ergonomics

What are they?

What is RSI?

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term referring to an injury resulting from the prolonged and repeated use of muscles, tendons and nerves. The muscles most commonly associated with RSI are the hand and neck muscles, since they are repetitively used over a long period of time when using a computer.

Symptoms and Stages of Injury

There are many symptoms of RSI. They may include but are not limited to:


- Weakness and lack of flexability in your hands or forearms

- Fatigue because of killing too many terrorists with your video game controller

- Tingling or numbness after playing Minecraft for 8 hours straight

- Heightened awareness and hypersensitivity after pulling all those dank no-scopes

Stages of RSI

There are also 3 main stages of RSI:


First stage

These may last for several weeks and symptoms may start to appear after a using a particular repetitive action for an extended period, such as spamming left-click to kill people over a 40 min match.


Second stage

If the earlier symptoms are not dealt with, symptoms may persist for several months. These may include swelling, redness, warmth over the affected area and joint and muscle stiffness


Third stage

At this stage, the symptoms may become constant and irreversible. Symptoms might be felt even during sleep. You might even be unable to conduct essential daily activities such as gaming.

Prevention

There is one major way to prevent RSIs; Ergonomics


Ergonomics is the process of arranging your work space so that it fits the people that use it. Ergonomics is important because it provides a safe, comfortable and stress-free environment for the user.

You can improve your ergonomics by:


  • Keeping your elbows at 90
  • Keeping upper arms near vertical when typing
  • Resting your wrists and forearms to prevent fatigue
  • Eyes 18-20" or about an arm's length from the screen
  • Keeping your mouse and keyboard at the same level
  • Taking regular breaks from killing people in video games
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Office Exercises

Taking a five minute break every 1-2 hours will help your feel better. You can do quick and easy exercises during this time to reduce stress and fatigue and improve your flexibility.
Here are a few different office exercises that you can do to help you feel better.


Chin Tucks

Chin tucks stretch your neck muscles, and helps you maintain better posture


  • Move your chin towards your chest for 5 seconds
  • You should feel a slight stretch from your neck to the base of your skull
  • Repeat 10 times


Neck Rotations

Neck rotations can help ease neck aches


  • Keep your elbows straight to keep your shoulders from elevating
  • Turn your neck so that your chin moves towards your shoulder
  • Hold for 10 - 30 seconds


Neck Side Bends

Neck side bends can help decrease tightness in the sides of your neck


  • Tilt your head to one side, so that your ear touches your shoulder
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Tilt your head to the other side, and repeat


You can find countless other exercises that you can do instead of being productive on the internet. They can help you exercise other muscles that weren't covered with these few examples.

Computer repetitive strain injury

Sources

"Neck Pain Prevention: Chin Tuck Exercise Video." SpineUniverse. Vertical Health, 09 June

2014. Web. 06 May 2016.


"Neck Pain Prevention: Side Bending Exercise Video." SpineUniverse. Vertical Health, 13 June 14. Web. 06 May 2016.


"Neck Rotation Stretch." Neck Rotation Stretch. Spotsinjuryclinic.net, n.d. Web. 08 May 2016.


"What is Ergonomics? - Dohrmann Consulting." Dohrmann Consulting. Dohrmann Consulting, 05 July 2014. Web. 06 May 2016


Mandal, Ananya, Dr. "Symptoms of Repetive Strain Injury (RSI). " News-Medical.net.AZoM.com,08 Aug. 2012. Web. 06 May 2016