Wednesday, March 12, 2008

End of the (carpal) tunnel?

…HA is such a computer rat it’s a wonder she isn’t in a full-body sling. So she was interested to read a story by Ellen Simon of the Associated Press about how repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel were down down 21% in 2006 alone.

…Why? Well, first the “epidemic” could have been just ever so slightly exaggerated. A study done at Mayo in 2001 said computer users got carpal tunnel no more often than the general population.

…Blue collar workers doing repetitive movements on assembly lines get carpal far more than white collar.

…Some white collar patients might have referred pain from back or neck problems.

….Some companies have also been working at prevention. L.L. Bean shuts down its manufacturing line three times a day for 5-min stretches.

…Blue Cross bought ergonomic chairs and desks and assessed work areas for problems. Worker comp costs have dropped 62%.

…The govt tried to put in some ergonomic standards in 2000, but business screeched so hysterically, they abandoned them. This got companies interested in their own steps, though.

…Supposedly not being forced by the govt made businesses ever so much more responsive.

…Oh, well—HA needed a laugh. And it’s good news about those wrists.

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