Stop blaming your PC for RSI

Old world ills, such as smoking and obesity, are just as much to blame...
Written by Ron Coates, Contributor

Old world ills, such as smoking and obesity, are just as much to blame...

A study published today lets computers off the hook as the cause of severe RSI. A team of Danish occupational health doctors have found after a massive study that computer use does not pose a severe occupational hazard for developing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The results of the study are published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. CTS is often seen as a severe form of RSI. The team surveyed 9,480 Danish trade union members in two batches, followed up with clinical interviews. It found no significant association of CTS with keyboard use, but conceded that there could be an association with people who use a mouse more than 20 hours per week. At the UK's RSI Association, chief executive Andrew Chadwick was not convinced. He said: "Some doctors do not group CTS with other RSI injuries – there doesn't seem to be the repetitive and constricted movement necessary." "But computers do damage people," he said. A TUC spokesman pointed out that: "It's not just computer use. In the UK there has never been a case won on computer use alone – there are always other factors as well. It is the way the work is managed. It takes bad conditions as well as computers." The Danish team found that CTS is linked to other medical illnesses, including smoking, diabetes, arthritis and obesity, not to mention "the stresses and strains of everyday life."
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