Carpal Tunnel and the Workplace
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Carpal Tunnel and the Workplace

Computer, tablet, and smartphone use in everyday life has become a necessity for most Americans. More time on the computer means more strain on your hands, which could potentially lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

According to the US Department of Commerce website, 96 percent of Americans reported using computers in the workplace. Extended use of computers can strain the hands and wrist in certain scenarios; taking breaks and managing time wisely may help prevent unwanted stress from overuse.

Who’s at Risk?

Typing speed can also increase the risk of CTS: according to a study done by Balance Systems Inc., the average typing speed in the US is 40 words per minute, which, over the course of an eight-hour work day, results in about 16 tons of force exerted by your fingers. A faster typing speed results in a greater amount of force exerted per day. This means the risk for those in key-entry heavy positions is much greater than that of an employee who spends time away from the computer.

Despite rising computer use, CTS is still more prevalent among labor workers. Power tools that shake or vibrate can disturb nerves in the wrist, and heavy lifting can put strain on the tendons traveling through the hand. To protect yourself, it’s important to use protective gear and follow proper safety procedures at job sites that involve heavy lifting.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause numbness and discomfort in the hands, which can lead to sleepless nights, or problems in the workplace. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from CTS.

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