Many of the messages on this topic emphasise the fact that once you get RSI, say in your hands, it may spread to your back leading to backache problems. I was not surprised to hear this, since I’ve read about this in several places. So, it seems clear that RSI can cause back pain (perhaps some forms of back pain are in fact early symptoms of RSI).
Comment 1: There is indeed ample evidence for a relationship between back pain and RSI, but not directly. The model most often used would however be:
wrong posture / movement => back pain
wrong posture / movement => RSI
As posture will be learned early in our lives, back pain often arrives first. There is no causal relationship. There might be some weak interrelations. It seems to me a classical statistical mistake to conclude that back pain leads to RSI.
Comment 2: Agreed, also worthy to note that we spend a lot more of both our work and free time sat down so there’s more time to affect our backs than our hands and wrists from typing.
Comment 3: Many thanks for your clarification. When I wrote “it seems clear that RSI can cause back pain” I should have instead written “it seems plausible that the same causes of RSI can lead to back pain”. Apologies for my casual statement. My intention was to concentrate on non-repetitive-motion related back problems (since I only had data for those).