Saturday, July 05, 2008

Help for those tingling fingers!

New devices cause tingling fingers ...

"Increasing reliance on computers and mobile devices would mean most of us are inadvertently straining our muscles and injuring soft tissues and nerves. But new research, to understand how design changes to computer peripherals can make usage sustainable and safe, is holding out hope

In recent times, use of computers, laptops and mobile phones by more Indians has been shown as a sign that our lifestyles have been changing. Though many have the luxury of "staying connected" with their business teams and loved ones irrespective of the time and place — thanks to technologies like Wi-Fi, WiMAX and Broadband — there is a price to pay for this luxury.

Increasing reliance on computers and mobile devices would mean most of us are inadvertently straining our muscles and would end up permanently or temporarily injuring soft tissues and nerves over the years. Trivial as it may sound now, Repetitive Strain Injury or Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) can cause severe damage to arms, back and neck. If experts are to be believed, the condition could even force people out of work.

OOS often results from repeated or uninterrupted motion of the muscles during the normal course of work. Any unnatural movement such as twisting the arm or wrist, over-exertion, incorrect seating position or muscle fatigue can result in OOS.

Doctors believe even those who don't feel any obvious symptoms of the condition — such as tingling in fingers and numbness — will have difficulties in performing ordinary tasks.

"People who often sit on an incorrect seating position, use mouse and keyboards for hours together are likely victims of OOS," says Subrotah Biswas, country manager (India and SAARC) of the digital peripherals manufacturer Logitech, which has introduced various products that are said to help efficiency and health of computer users.

"Anyone who uses the Notebook extensively and doesn't pay much attention to the way they perform repetitive movements, the frequency with which they perform them and the amount of time they rest between movements can also fall prey to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — the tingling in fingers caused by the median nerve being pressed or squeezed in the wrist."    (Continued via Deccan Herald, L Subramani)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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