Microsoft claims RSI on the increase in UK

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Jun 26, 2007
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Work-related RSI cases are at an all-time high andthe cost to businesses is spiralling as staff are working on the move more thanever before, claims Microsoft in a new study released today.

Microsoft’s research – based on a poll of over1,000 office workers - reveals Repetitive Strain Injury cases have soared bymore than 30 per cent over last year, "costing businesses over £300 million inlost working hours" with the blame pinned squarely on the increasing trend for ‘mobileworking’.

Microsoft claims that office-based employees "arenow working on the move for an average of an hour more per day than they didtwo years ago using laptops and mobile devices."

Aches andpains *

The research also claims that an alarming 68 per cent of thoseoffice workers*polled suffered from aches and pains such as "back ache,shoulder pain and wrist/hand pain as a result of working whilst in transit incramped or awkward positions," adding that "that those working for smallercompanies are most at risk."

Microsoft pins the problems, such as what it terms ‘BlackberryThumb’ down to a "worrying lack of knowledge about the risks that is leading tomillions of working hours being lost to a crippling injury labelled."


The upshot is that Microsoft recommends that officesshould be equipped with ergonomic hardware – such as ergonomic articulatingkeyboards, monitor arms, footrests, copy holders, ergonomic mice, laptopholders and ergonomic chairs - *that cansignificantly reduce the risk of RSI, with less than half of UK workplaces currently having anergonomic hardware programme in place.

John Allen, Managing Consultant at The RoyalSociety for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says of the risk. "Weare shocked that*this research indicates that the number of officeinjuries is on the increase due to companies not taking the right actions ininvesting in their staff's wellbeing. This issue needs to be addressed andcompanies*should start assessing the risks and*investing in ergonomicsolutions where they are needed."

Microsoft’s Sophie Barnave-Gaffney added, "Clearly,there is an enormous lack of understanding about the need for ergonomics withinthe work environment and Microsoft has recognised that companies and employeescan benefit enormously by implementing a few simple and cost effectivemeasures. This is why we are putting such a focus on ergonomic hardware, inparticular mice and keyboards, to reduce the number of work related injuries."

TechRadar will be speaking with Microsoft's Barnave-Gaffney and the team behind the RSI research later today, so we'll bring you further details on this story later this week.