RSI injuries are the nation’s most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers’ compensation claims.
Workstations are proving to be a hazard to our bodies. The item most of us interact with at our desk most often is the keyboard. Cheap, non-ergonomic keyboards, force users to press harder when typing, and force them into a non-ergonomic, non-aligned position. This is a risky business, especially when your flat keyboard is plotting against you, as it leaves users vulnerable to RSI’s.
We all know by now that RSI’s like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be painful, costly, and a downright nuisance. Unlike major trauma injuries, RSI’s are small injuries that compound over long periods of time. Like water dripping and eventually eroding stone, these tiny injuries can lead to inflammation and damage to muscles, nerves, and tendons. When swelling pressures the carpal tunnel nerve, it can lead to pain, fatigue, weak grip, and tingling. Once these injuries reach the chronic stage through repeated overuse, the damage can range from painful to debilitating. You not only need to stop doing what was causing the problems, but also allow time to heal the previous injuries. Left untreated, RSI’s like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can require surgery to alleviate the symptoms. This can really cut into employee productivity and morale, making the work day a real chore.
Goldtouch CEO Mark Norwalk states, “Small little distresses over time eventually compound into something that the user feels. Once they feel that pain, sometimes they’ve already had significant damage. So you want to prevent that from happening through good ergonomic practices.”
Here’s a little math equation for you:
The average keyboard’s key resistant is about 80 grams – this is the key pressure or activation force a user exerts to press down on a key (the average key resistance of a Goldtouch is only about 34 grams).
The average user types 4 cumulative hours per day (240 minutes) at 50 words per minute (WPM).
This equals 12,000 keystrokes per day.
12,000 keystrokes x 80 grams of force = 960,000 grams or 2116 pounds of pressure per day.
That would be 10,580 pounds of pressure on your joints per week, given a 5 day work week!
Relief from Pressure
Given the physical pressures we face at work each day, it is really important to make sure your workstation is not hurting you. One way to do that is by using a Goldtouch ergonomic keyboard. You may not notice immediate relief from all your symptoms when you begin a sound ergonomic lifestyle, but you should feel better and the symptoms should dissipate as long as you continue with good ergonomic practices.