Prevention is better than cure.
– Desiderius Erasmus
The office environment is always full of elements that challenge employees’ health. These can be machinery, infectious commodities, communicable diseases, etc. This list of office hazards is accountable for a large part of employee healthcare costs.
So, employers must do all they can to mitigate these workplace hazards. Here, one of the aspects missed by many that you must be conscious of is carpal tunnel syndrome prevention.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common office workers’ health problem affecting productivity. It affects the wrists of an individual which limits movements of the hands. This can be a real nuisance when typing or manual labor requiring strong hands is a huge part of the job.
CTS or Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs because of the pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs from an individual's hand, through the wrist in carpal tunnel passage and ends in the hand. This nerve controls the feeling and movement of all the fingers except the pinky.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a very irritating condition for your employees. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling, pain, and weakness in your hands. One major effect of it is when objects keep dropping out of your hand. In some cases, a symptom can also feel like a mild electric shock in the fingers.
So, it would help if you did everything to prevent this menace from happening in your office. Here are a few measures for carpal tunnel syndrome prevention that you must consider.
7 Measures for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention
1. Healthy Lifestyle
The key to a healthy life is a healthy lifestyle, period. To fight carpal tunnel syndrome, the secret here is also a healthy way of life. Encourage your employees to practice daily office exercises, especially in their wrists, to promote better movement.
Also, bad habits like smoking hurt the blood flow that negatively results in CTS. Maintaining a healthy weight is also imperative to control CTS as well.
Here, you can introduce some office weight loss challenge to get rid of that extra fat.
2. Warm Hands
Always make sure to keep your hands warm while working. In some cases, an office environment can turn out to be very cold. This cold atmosphere can cause numbness in the hands. Therefore, it is essential to keep the hands warm.
You can provide your employees with hand gloves in this aspect to keep their hands warm.
3. Loose Grip
Sometimes while operating with office equipment, employees may use a tighter grip than necessary. This doesn't seem right as a tight grip promotes tension in hand. So, employees must use a loose grip whenever possible while operating office equipment.
Working continuously in a repetitive motion can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. So, your employees must take breaks from time to time to avoid CTS. Here, it would be very beneficial if employees could practice some office stretches in their break.
Here, you can shake off your hands to release the accumulated tension. You can also bowl your fist and then extend the fingers upward like a stop sign. One can also fan out or stretch out their fingers as far as possible as a break time exercise.
Related Article: 8 Awesome Ideas For Brain Breaks For Adults
Posture also plays a huge difference in fighting CTS in the first place. Therefore, your employees need to have a proper posture at work. In this regard, it is also vital for them to understand the monitor, chair, keyboard, and mouse placement.
All of the elements mentioned above should be near the employee's reach to improve workplace ergonomics. Here, the idea is to avoid going beyond an individual's comfort zone to get to these things.
6. Straight Wrists
While typing away in their computers, most employees develop some peculiar habits of their own. The most common of this is having the wrist face up or down while typing. This is an aspect that employees must change while typing.
Workers should try to keep their wrists neutral, i.e., work with straight wrist which eases the median nerve's pressure. Here, wearing a wrist brace while sleeping can help maintain a straight wrist as well.
7. A Proper Setup
A proper setup goes a long way in fighting off CTS. A good practice is to adjust your keyboard height so that you can work with straight wrists. Make sure that the elbows of the employees are close to their sides as they type.
Related Article: Work From Home Setup- What Every Employee Must Have
These were a few methods your employees can use for carpal tunnel syndrome prevention.
Now, if the situation has gone to a point where prevention is no longer possible, then you must look at diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome immediately. Here, some of the easy options are applying an ice pack to reduce inflammation, wearing a wrist splint, and using anti-inflammatory drugs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a widespread occurrence in the corporate world today. It is because every one of your employees will whittle away for hours on their computers. This is bound to give rise to the syndrome if proper prevention is not in place.
By making your office workers aware of these simple carpal tunnel syndrome prevention steps, you can make a heap of difference. First, you save a ton of healthcare costs, and second, you help employees maintain better employee health.
It's a win-win situation. So, we recommend you spread the word immediately.