As I have discussed previously our bodies are designed to move. The topic under scrutiny is not called repetitive motion injuries. Moving properly is not only not going to injure you, but it is also essential to good health. So, the first and best way to avoid repetitive stress injuries is to MOVE IN A WAY THAT AVOIDS REPEATEDLY STRESSING YOUR BODY.
If you are new to doing something ask others what they do to make a task less stressful for the body. Most workplaces can benefit financially by having ergonomics lectures or posters or education for their employees. If you don’t have them, discuss this with your company. There are additional benefits to moving properly. You are less tired, work more efficiently, and you are better able to cope with mental stresses. We are more productive workers and cost less in health care if we prevent injury through proper education.
If you have been doing something wrong for too long, you develop a bad habit. Breaking that habit can be uncomfortable. Have you ever tried sitting up straight at your computer for a whole day. At the end of the day your muscles are sore. They aren’t used to doing things the right way. Your body has adapted to your poor posture and lost good functionality. As with getting in shape you can’t have the perfect body in one day. Start slow, and be consistent with your attempts to change your bad habits.
The second way to prevent RSIs is to allow your self RECOVERY TIME. There is a physics principle called creep – to slip or gradually shift position or to change shape permanently from prolonged stress. This principle is in effect with our ligaments and tendons. Within 20 min. of staying in the same position our ligaments begin to accept the stretch placed on them as normal. To counter creep we should move periodically. After all we were designed to move. So recovery time, every 20-30 min. get up, do something different. Stretches are a easy to do at this time. It doesn’t have to be long especially if you weren’t doing anything too strenuous. Ninety seconds should be adequate recovery time.
Another part of recovery time is your sleep. Sleep is when your body spends its energy recuperating from previous damage you have done to it. So, to avoid RSIs get plenty of sleep.
Third, your body can’t repair its self with out the building blocks it needs. A GOOD DIET is key to preventing RSIs. Some key foods in not only prevention but also recovery from RSI’s are: Vitamin C, fish and greens such as spinach. I should get my nutritionist friends to write a proper diet for connective tissue health, but if you are eating a variety of food, and not a lot of junk, you should be fine.
The last two things to do are common sense. EXERCISE with the goal to improve in the three areas of: strength, endurance, and flexibility. Last, DON’T OVER DO IT.
IN SUMMARY … To prevent RSIs:
1 Use Proper Motion
2 Get Proper Recovery Time
3 Eat Right
4 Exercise and Stretch
5 Don’t Over Do It