Medical charity Action Research is calling for designers who use a computer mouse and keyboard for more than half their working day to take part in its research into repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Physiologist Dr Bruce Lynn and physiotherapist Jane Greening are researching the functioning of nerves in the hands and arms to improve diagnosis of RSI.
Research by the TUC suggests that 200 000 new cases occur each year, of which 50 000 people exhibit chronic pain in the upper limbs with no obvious cause. The remainder are people with medically recognised conditions.
“Getting an accepted diagnosis is the first hurdle anyone must cross to get compensation or some benefits,” a spokesman at the Health and Safety Commission confirms.
“The test is quite simple,” says Greening. “It takes 45 minutes and doesn’t hurt in any way.”
Chartered Society of Designers director Brian Lymbery says: “Although we don’t have information that risks for designers are higher than other computer users, they are probably more aware of the correct use of equipment than some groups. But we do support this kind of research, which may help in the prevention of what can be a severe condition.”
Interested designers who can come to London, have not suffered from whiplash, severe injuries to the neck or upper limbs, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis and are not pregnant should write with brief details to Jane Greening, Arthur Stanley House, School of Physiotherapy, 40 Tottenham Street, London W1P 0NJ.