Further to my earlier references to my own and I believe the RSI Associations’ concerns with RSI in young people and children. As a lecturer in IT I know that in many Colleges, at least, the importance of this issue is not well recognised, far less provided for (Apologies to any Colleges who do make provision). There is very little, if any, provision for it within the standard Curriculum, the only teaching my students had on this was under the title of Health and Safety, and a small mention in the NVQ subjects. I tried to incorporate and to underline the correct use of computers and the ergonomics recommended when working at a workstation of any kind. However, there was very little time to spend on this topic within the lessons, as it takes up a minuscule place within the Scheme of Work.
My feeling is that the Educational and Government bodies must be made fully aware of this potential problem and just how important it is. Schools, Colleges all educational establishments need to become concerned, provision for proper instruction and education on the subject should be mandatory with Computer and/or Health and Safety teaching. Telling the children about the potential problem is not enough, they simply go and away and forget. I believe there is a video in existence for showing to children, if anyone knows of this please let me know. I feel an expert should be brought in to speak to the children on the risks and how to take preventative measures, before it is too late.
This is not a problem restricted to children, very few adults are aware of the potential risks, when I tell people that I have an RSI related problem – they say, ‘What is that?” These are people using computers on a day basis, these are educated people. I have taught adults and they will sit for hours and hours, without moving at a computer, against advice – but real education on the problem is needed everywhere! I knew of the dangers, but ignored them (with the attitude ‘It’ll never happen to me” or “I’ll stop if it appears to be getting bad.” I now know to my cost neither of these statements is true! Sorry to go on so much, but I do feel it is a very important issue. I wonder how many working hours are lost in a year due to sickness from an RSI problem. I wonder how much the Government has to pay in treatment, sick pay, etc. I am sure the answer is huge sums of money, and even then probably nowhere near enough. Surely it would be far more cost effective to look at Prevention by Education. Any thoughts, comments and knowledge much appreciated.
Comment 1: I agree that something should be done especially for our children. No-one wants them to go through what we’re suffering. However, I don’t believe it’s enough just to give one ‘lecture’ to children or adults alike. We all forget so easily and get into bad habits so quickly. I believe that ‘refresher’ lectures/talks/videos/discussions should be given regularly to remind people what could happen and to prompt them to think about how they are working and have they inadvertently got themselves into some bad habits.
Comment 2: Thanks for response; I think that you have an excellent idea – refreshers for children and adults alike would be extremely beneficial.