Prevent upper limb disorders with proper posture

New research by the Occupational Health Clinical Effectiveness Unit (OHCEU) at the Royal College of Physicians reveals the lack of high quality research on workplace management of Upper Limb Disorders. Upper Limb Disorders is an umbrella term for a number of common conditions of the shoulder, arm, wrist and hand, including carpal tunnel syndrome which is estimated to affect around 5% of UK adults.

OCHEU makes several recommendations for the benefit of clinicians and companies where employees have Upper Limb Disorders. Consultant Shoulder Surgeon Richard Sinnerton is more interested in prevention.

I see huge numbers of patients who have been very poorly advised about the ergonomics of their work-stations and if basic positioning and posture can be achieved then many of these conditions can be averted.

You really need to be sitting as if you were in a 1960's typing pool! Those people worked long hours on heavy manual keyboards yet there was very little incidence of upper limb problems. So, have your chair quite high, slide it in so that your tummy is up against the desk, lock your elbows to your sides, don't use wrist supports and keep the mouse next to the keyboard so you aren't reaching out.

It may look a bit old-fashioned but boy does it work. And remember there is no point in having a £500 'orthopaedic chair' if you still slouch in it!

Numbness, tingling, and pain in the thumb, index finger and middle fingers caused by a compression of the median nerve at the wrist. Full medical glossary
The number of new episodes of a condition arising in a certain group of people over a specified period of time. Full medical glossary