Working in an office is certainly not the most hazardous job – it isn’t like being a tree surgeon, a deep-sea fisherman or a lion tamer for example! But it does come with potential health problems if you are not careful, and one of the most common of these is RPS or repetitive strain injury.
Unfortunately, people working in an office don’t usually realise that they are causing a problem until the damage is done. The first signs that you have RPS are usually a pain or an ache, or a tingling or numb feeling. This is usually in the arm, hand or wrist, all the parts that you use regularly sat at a desk.
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to preventing RPS is that your posture is very important. Make sure that you have a good chair, to get it sooner rather than later use a company that offers next day office furniture.
It is also important that your workstation is set up correctly, for example you don’t want to be reaching across to much as this can cause problems, and remember to take regular breaks – try setting an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to do this. It is much better to take short, regular breaks than one long one.
If your doctor thinks you may have RSI, there are a few things that you can do. One thing is to stop doing the thing that is causing it or making it worse. You may be prescribed some painkilling medication if you are in pain and will also probably be referred to a physiotherapist. Steroid injections are also sometimes given to lower the inflammation, and surgery can be done if there are problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome.