In the old days, when someone told you about their joint pain, it was likely to be your grandmother talking about her arthritis. Nowadays, it is probably someone who spends their days sitting at a computer, regardless of age. Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) have become a massive problem affecting almost two million workers a year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). One study found that the affect 60% of all those who work at a computer.
Your body is not designed for typing at a keyboard all day
Wrist problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome are among the most common RSIs because so many of us spend our days typing at a keyboard. It is not something our bodies are made to do. As people are increasingly working remotely, the problem will likely increase. Working from home often means working on a laptop at the kitchen table or on the couch, which are not ergonomically ideal.
The importance of good ergonomics
Good positioning is crucial to reducing RSIs. When working in an office, your employer has probably set up your desk and screen at the correct height and provided an appropriate chair. Try to do the same when working from home.
An ergonomic keyboard and mouse can make a big difference. They are much better for you than a flat laptop keyboard. Make sure you take frequent breaks and do some stretching exercises for your fingers and wrists.
If you notice signs of wrist problems, such as pain or numbness, consult a doctor. Carrying on as you are will likely lead to long term problems that could prevent you from working. Most California employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you have trouble getting your claim for an RSI approved, an experienced attorney may be able to help.