At many jobs, especially those that require extensive periods of time on a computer or a production line, the employees are often at risk of developing repetitive stress injuries, which can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can interfere with an employee’s productivity by reducing their speed and efficiency. It can even lead to them taking sick days to rest or undergo surgery. The good news is that there are plenty of small changes that your employees can implement into their workday that will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression or nerve entrapment disorder, is a neurological disorder that’s caused by pressure placed on the median nerve, which helps you move your fingers, hand and wrist.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Tingling or numbness.
- Weakness throughout the hand.
The condition can stem from an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or rheumatoid arthritis. But many workers develop carpal tunnel syndrome because the pressure put on the nerve can be worsened by frequent repetitive wrist movements.
Industry workers who are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Desk workers (e.g., from typing for extended periods of time).
- Manufacturing workers.
- Assembly line workers.
- Construction workers.
Tips for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace
Your employees’ health and wellness should be your top priority. If you want to reduce their risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, there are a few changes you can make to the workplace, both in procedure and equipment, that may help.
Here are some tips for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace:
- Fix the desk ergonomics — Poor posture and wrist placement can contribute to pressure on the median nerve. You can provide your employees with ergonomic keyboards and mice that allow their wrists to be aligned with their forearms as they type.
- Encourage frequent breaks — Taking a break from a repetitive task to stretch out their arms, wrists and hands can alleviate the tension on your workers’ median nerve. By encouraging, or even requiring, frequent breaks, you can help your employees avoid excessive strain on their wrists.
- Switch up the tasks — Just as taking stretch breaks throughout a task can break up the repetitiveness of wrist movements, so can switching over to a completely different assignment. Consider providing your employees with a schedule that includes a variety of tasks so that they can switch up their movements throughout the day.
Work-Fit can help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause wrist pain and weakness that interferes with your employees’ productivity, but there are changes you can make to help reduce the chance. Work-Fit can help you with workplace injury prevention and ergonomics to keep your employees healthy.
Contact our team today to find out more about all the benefits Work-Fit can bring to your workplace.