Tablets, iPads & RSI
New evidence, while anecdotal suggests that there is a new repetitive stress injury risk for youths that could cause more damage than even the often blamed video game controller. The use of tablet computers, which are seemingly ubiquitous among today’s younger generation, could be even riskier due to the way in which a person interacts with the device.
When sitting at a computer there is a much greater chance for a person to use proper posture as opposed to the way tablets are used. Many of us lean forward and sort of contort our hands and fingers while relaxing on the couch. It may feel more comfortable in the short term, but the long term risks to the muscles, tendons and joints are still being assessed.
The easiest way for young people or anyone who frequently uses a tablet computer is to be aware of your positioning and to take frequent breaks. RSI injuries are no fun at any age, but they can be avoided with a little common sense.
RSI at Work
Almost everyone who has ever had a job that required sitting at a desk, typing away on a computer keyboard for hours on end can attest to the fact that such repetitive motions can take their toll on all parts of the body. Fingers, hands, wrists, and even back pain can often be attributed to the stress of these seemingly harmless work tasks. We aren’t working in the coal mines after all. We are just trying to finish up quarterly reports before the Friday deadline.
Well the good news is that you are not along in your pain. According to a study out of the United Kingdom, only 30% of the workers polled felt that they had and “adequate working environment”. The result is that repetitive stress injuries continue to be a workplace health issue.
The HR magazine article also explained that about a third of the two thousand workers surveyed complained of headaches and migraines that they attributed to their physical working conditions. While two thirds suffered the classic RSI symptoms of hand, wrist, and finger pain along with neck and back pain often from poor sitting posture.
Like with many conditions it is a combination of factors that end up leading to muscle pain. In this case it is the long hours combined with poor posture, equipment and technique.
It is easier said than done in most real world environments, however, we all need to remember to get up from our desks, do some minor stretching and just give our bodies a moment to relax.
If you are one of those people who is constantly cracking their knuckles but also worrying about doing some long term damage to them, fear no more according to new research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. The cracking or pop sound you hear when you manipulate your fingers just so is usually the same sound as you hear in other parts of your body. Granted it seems more severe to hear your back than your knuckle make such noises but root causes are generally relatively benign and will not lead to any sort of arthritis or joint damage. Of course if any sound is ever accompanied by any pain or something doesn’t seem right, always consult a doctor. Now we just need to find a way to stop our fretting and get back to enjoying the good life. Ahhh, if only it was that easy.