When a worker does the same thing day in and day out, he or she may feel like the biggest impact simply involves mental stimulation and boredom. But in reality, even a simple repetitive action can lead to injury over time.
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) can affect anyone from any profession, class, walk of life and more. The only thing that needs to happen is a repeated action over a period of time.
What is an RSI?
Cleveland Clinic dives into an examination of repetitive stress injuries and their impact on a body. RSIs generally cause inflammation and swelling in an affected area because of an overuse of the joints and muscles there. This swelling can then cut off or lower the supply of blood, lowering oxygen absorption and causing tissue damage. It can also pinch nerves, which may cause tingling, pain, numbness and a loss of fine motor control.
Sources of repeated motion
RSIs happen for any reason that involves a repeated motion. For example, cashiers spend much of their shift scanning items with the same back and forward swiping motion. Mechanics who work on the same equipment – such as cars or industrial machinery – often repeat the same motions as they fix the same parts day in and day out. Receptionists spend much of their days typing, and food service workers often prepare the same foods in the same way.
Any of these professions – or rather, any profession at all – involves some level of repetition. But when this repetition physically damages a worker’s body, then it is time for the worker to take action.