Know your enemy: RSI

RSI Week: All the news, advice, reviews and downloads you need to stay healthy and free of Repetitive Strain Injury

As part of RSI Awareness Week (February 23rd to 29th) ZDNet UK has produced a Special Report on the problem including articles on how to avoid injury, interviews with ergonomics experts, reviews of the latest alternative input devices and a list of useful software tools to remind you to take regular breaks.

The RSI Association, the organisation behind RSI Awareness Week, claims 1 in 50 UK workers have reported RSI symptoms with around 5.4 million working days lost per year due to the problem. The association's information manager Richard Southorn claims employers should take the opportunity of RSI Awareness Week to review their internal processes, making sure that the latest ergonomic advice is being followed, that staff are encouraged to report symptoms and that remedial action is quick and effective.

Southorn claims employees must feel comfortable in talking to their manager about any concerns they have regarding their workstations. "Managers should use this information to sort out any problems in negotiation with their staff. It’s very much a two-way process," he says.

There's a lot of information about the causes of RSI and how to avoid it on the RSI Association Web site. You can also call their helpline on 0800 018 5012.

  • Repeat offender: How IT use can cause RSI
    Some estimates put the cost of RSI-related injuries to UK industry at anywhere between £5bn and £20bn but with care it's easy to minimise the risks

  • Two desktops - twice the health risk?
    Ergonomics expert Professor Peter Buckle explains why IT professionals using multiple workstations could be at greater risk of developing RSI type injuries

  • No pain, no strain!
    RSI isn't an inevitable consequence of using a PC. By being careful with your workplace ergonomics you should be fine

  • Review: Alternative input devices
    Many people spend most of their working lives interacting with computers, running the risk of discomfort or injury. Here are some products that could help prevent such problems

  • RSI Week: Your employer's obligations
    If your job involves spending too much time doing a repetitive task against tight deadlines, the law is on your side

  • Download the latest anti-RSI software
    Tools to help you remember to take regular breaks from your PC