Repetitive Strain Injuries and Office Ergonomics

Repetitive Strain Injuries and Office Ergonomics

Course Description

The purpose of this 3-day course is to provide participants with required knowledge and skills to enable them to identify symptoms and causes of work-related upper limbs disorders. Throughout the course, participants would be able to achieve a better understanding of office ergonomic setup and be able to evaluate and adjust their own workstations accordingly.

  • Despite common beliefs that the office provides a safe environment in which to work, many hazards exist which cause thousands of injuries and health problems each year among office workers. Since one-third of the work force is in offices, even low rates of work-related injuries and illnesses can have an immense impact on employee safety and health.
  • The delivery will be done using a blended learning approach using a variety of training methods including role playing, individual activities, group discussions and activities, relevant case studies to keep trainees always engaged.
  • The course examines various approaches and techniques to identify repetitive strain injuries symptoms and causes. There will be a focus is on ergonomic workstation setup as it’s one of the root causes of such injuries.

Each candidate using a checklist provided by the trainer would carry out a practical application of workstation evaluation.

Completed checklists in addition to completed multiple-choice questions would be assessed to verify competence.

Course Objective

By the end of this training program, participants would be able to:

  • Know the and understand the causes of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or upper limbs disorders
  • Know the symptoms of Repetitive strain/motion injuries
  • Have a better understanding of ergonomic principles
  • Outline exercises designed to reduce the risk of injury
  • Identify different symptoms and causes of discomfort
  • Conduct an evaluation and adjustment of their own workstation
  • Gain the necessary skills and knowledge to identify a repetitive strain injury at its early stages
  • Know of Behavioral and environmental factors leading to such injuries
  • Know about types of equipment and ergonomic accessories effective in reducing the risk of injury
  • Do exercises and stretches that can help to prevent or relieve RSI
  • Learn practical and realistic prevention methods?
  • Know the causes, consequences, and related costs of occupational stress

Course Outline

The course will cover the following topics:

Causes of RSIs

  • Forceful or awkward grip
  • Improper use of equipment
  • Rapid repetitive movements
  • Lack of job variation
  • Inadequate rest breaks
  • Poor tool and equipment design
  • An increase in workload or/hours
  • Vibration
  • Excessive force
  • Awkward work positions
  • Forceful or awkward grip
  • Improper use of equipment
  • Rapid repetitive movements

Stages of Pain

  • Early
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Symptoms of RSIs

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain and injuries
  • Loss of sensation
  • Swelling around the wrist/hand
  • Headaches
  • Eye discomfort and strain
  • Muscle weakness, fatigue and muscle spasm
  • Joint restrictions and loss of movement
  • Tennis elbow
  • Ganglion
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Risk Factors

  • Physical
  • Force
  • Posture
  • Frequency and duration


  • Cognitive (mental effort)
  • Psychosocial
  • Social Interactions at Work
  • Organizational (Work Schedules – Workloads and Overtime)


  • Noise Levels
  • Noise Reduction
  • Temperature & Humidity
  • Increasing Comfort
  • Lighting (Eyestrain – Preventing Vision Problems)

Sitting practices

  • Wrist
  • Elbows
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Lower back
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Feet
  • Work Surface
  • Keyboard and Mouse


  • Brightness
  • Screen color
  • Color use guidelines

Ergonomic Accessories

  • Document Holder
  • Footrest
  • Palm/Wrist Support
  • Telephone

Job Design

  • Task Variety
  • Work Pace
  • Work Breaks
  • Rest Breaks
  • Adjustment Period

Workstation evaluation and setup

  • Chair considerations and adjustments
  • Keyboard and Mouse setup and considerations
  • Monitor Placement
  • Glare and Reflections
  • Ergonomic accessories (Document Holder, Footrest, etc..)
  • Work area
  • Workplace and Office Exercises
  • Workstation Checklist
  • Symptom Troubleshooting
  • Sick Building Syndrome
  • Office air and Ventilation
  • Occupational Stress (Definition, causes, and symptoms)