Bad rap for computers

Study challenges assumptions about causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/16/2001

New research suggests that, contrary to popular belief, computer users are not more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome. But other workplace health experts say that besides some flaws in the research, the findings miss an important point.

Office work can contribute to employee pain. Repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are a problem and organizations that want a more productive workforce should help employees relieve that pain, say experts who dispute the new research from the Mayo Clinic.

Refuting the popular notion about CTS and computer use, Rochester N.Y.-based medical research centre the Mayo Clinic maintains there isn’t clear evidence about what activities cause carpal tunnel syndrome. A study of computer users at the Mayo Clinic, released last month, concluded that, “the frequency of carpal tunnel syndrome in computer users is similar to that in the general population.”