Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tales From Mouse Ward

RSI a real problem in Indian call centers ...

"Nothing about Vijaykumar’s daily schedule suggested any kind of health risk. For a young man, still pushing 33, he seemed to have an impeccably balanced lifestyle. He woke in the morning to drive to the Bangalore offices of IT major Cisco, where he worked as a programmer. He spent eight or nine hours at his computer, steadily tapping out code. His was a serious workday, but not an oppressive one, compared to the 14-hour shifts call centre workers clocked in over on Bannerghata Road. When he had time, he swam a few laps in the pool, and headed home to spend time with his family.

In 2003, however, something changed.

"It was a numbness in the hand," he recalls. "Then a cold sensation from my shoulder to my palm, and sometimes my hand became paralysed." We’re all getting older, he thought, gritting his teeth, and this must be the beginning of the inevitable wear-and-tear. And so he swam more to stay limber, tried yoga, ointments and pranayam to ease the pain. He relaxed his pace of work, moved the mouse from his right hand to his left. But that only shifted the pain to different places. The orthopaedist he consulted told him not much else could be done.

The condition progressed. A year ago, Vijaykumar stopped driving his car. Then he discovered he could not lift his kids—one and three years old—and carry them in his arms. "Five months ago, people started telling me I looked thin and worn out," says Vijaykumar. "And I realised I was living with a lot of pain, and barely sleeping at night.

... Our bodies can endure a certain amount of repetitive stress and bad posture before muscle, bone and nerves begin to come apart at the seams. Computer-related injuries (CRI) can be classified three ways: visual damage, orthopaedic trouble resulting from bad posture, and most prominently, repetitive stress injuries. Symptoms can appear anywhere in the body—from the eyes and the fingers, to the lumbar disk and the feet, so they are usually dismissed as the benign aches-and-pains of overwork and ageing. But in reality they have the potential to do acute damage to bodies and careers. And they are the fastest-growing occupational health hazard in India."    (Continued via outlookindia)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Office Overload - Ergonomics

Office Overload

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