In the office work environment, there are many interacting forces, politics and pressures, both perceived and real that can create the right conditions for RSI.
As human beings we have to deal with the mental insecurity of spending time thinking of how others perceive us. This can become magnified significantly in the work environment where the perception of your manager can be an overwhelming factor in whether you get a good pay rise or not.
The office culture of being pressured into sitting at your desk all day is pervasive. If you are not at your desk you may be perceived as being less productive. Trying to factor in time for the resting of injuries, walking around or stretching of sore muscles etc can be construed as being ‘non productive’ activities. It is often more positively perceived to remain at your desk looking like you are working whilst choosing not to eg surfing the web, emailing friends. Many workers can be ‘busy’ at their desks these days whilst actually doing very little work.
Break times should be looked at by employers as well as employees as mandatory necessities for health and well being, and not as optional luxuries. If you use a computer for 6+ hours a day, break times should not be spent sitting at your desk surfing the web or using your PC for other personal activity. The break should be used for an actual physical break from interaction with the computer. Any mental insecurities of how people perceive you need to be brushed aside when your health is on the line.
Office attitudes will probably never change, we are humans after all, but maybe if we take our break times more seriously or if employers force us to take them more seriously, we can reduce some of the conditions that allow RSI type injuries to occur.
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