Repetitive Stress Injuries, or RSI’s, occur all too often in the modern workplace due in part to sitting at a conventional office desk. Combine prolonged sitting (regardless of the task performed) with a widespread reliance on computers in modern business and it’s no wonder RSI’s have been on the rise. Yet, this need not be since there is a way to reduce, even eliminate the risk of RSI’s. By using adjustable height standing desks many RSI’s can be forgone. In fact, it is remarkable just how much an adjustable height office desk can benefit the individual by alternating the workspace to a sit or stand position throughout their work day.
What are Repetitive Stress Injuries?
In simple terms, repetitive stress injuries result when too much stress is placed on a joint because of overuse, which further results in tendon or muscle group-associated damage. RSI’s can vary in severity and kind although most RSI’s today are caused by prolonged computer use. Other RSI’s can be caused by excessive texting, musical instrument performance or sports activity such as tennis or golf.
What Happens with Repetitive Stress Injuries?
More specifically, an RSI occurs when a joint endures repeated pressure, use and motion on a joint. It pulls associated tendons and muscles around the joint which then become inflamed or swollen. By constant use, the body does not have enough time to reduce the inflammation, recover and heal the damage. Further damage occurs when the body manufactures fluid around the injured joint to protect it while increasing pressure on associated tendons and muscles.
Damage and Diagnoses that Occur Due to RSI’s
Below is a short list of RSI injuries that have been commonly experienced by heavy computer users sitting at conventional office desks:
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (wrist injury)
- Epicondylitis (or Tennis Elbow)
- Cervical Radiculopathy (Disk compression in the neck)
- Tendonitis (can occur in multiple body locations)
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (painful, swollen and dry hands)
- Ganglion Cyst (jelly-like substance leaked from joints or tendons that pools, creating a lump in the wrist or hand)
The Good News: Adjustable Height Standing Desks
While there has been an increase in all of these conditions in the modern workforce, there is a way to reduce or eliminate these RSI’s altogether. It has been shown that breaking up the repetition alleviates the stress on joints. One clear way to do that is to use standing desks which allow individuals to raise or lower their desk and alternate positions throughout the day. Standing for computer work is particularly beneficial in reducing repetitive motion for it allows individuals to more naturally move other parts of the body while working.