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September 15, 2006

Repetitive Strain Injury is cobblers

I’m not convinced about Repetitive Strain Injury. We’re told it’ll leave our wrists crippled. Newsround (yes I’m cool bored) had a scary piece on it yesterday which will probably put some kids off touching a computer keyboard. But I still can’t help thinking it’s a fuss about nothing.

You don’t hear kids being told to stop playing their music instrument in case they get RSI. You don’t hear about drummers getting RSI despite thrashing a drum kit for hours on end. So why is the computer keyboard (which requires far less movement) such a lethal device?!

I know some people do get Repetitive Strain Injury, and I’m not trying to say it doesn’t exist. But isn’t it possible that this is more to do with people having weak joints or muscles rather than some widespread problem that affects the whole population?

To add to the confusion, some data on RSI suggests that instances of RSI have fallen in recent years, with no obvious explanation for it.

Considering how long I spend slumped over a laptop keyboard, if RSI was a problem that affected people equally I’d have had it by now. As I haven’t I can only think that we should be treating it differently – advisory prevention rather than scaring kids into thinking their wrists are about to fall off when they clearly aren’t.

P.S. I find it hilarious that a search for repetitive strain injury brings up Injury Lawyers 4U as the first result… ha ha ha.

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