Unpleasant work atmosphere related to RSI

25/11/2002 10:00

One in five workers in the Netherlands suffers from RSI. Young people are more likely to have RSI symptoms than older people. A disagreeable atmosphere and conflict situations in the workplace are correlated to RSI symptoms.

RSI symptoms related to age

In 2000 23 percent of workers in the Netherlands suffered from RSI symptoms. The younger they are, the more likely they are to suffer. One quarter of people under 35 reported RSI symptoms, compared with 15 percent of people aged over 55. Moreover, women are more likely to get RSI than men.

Workers with RSI symptoms by age, 2000

Lower education, higher risk of RSI

There are large differences in RSI symptoms by level of education. Twenty-nine percent of workers who have only primary education complained of RSI, while 19 percent of those with vocational college or university education suffered from such complaints.

Workers with RSI symptoms by level of education, 2000

Work-related stress and RSI symptoms

Factors such as high workload, not being in control of one’s work and limited social support at work all lead to work-related stress. Such psycho-social factors in combination with physical stress can lead to RSI symptoms. Important physical risk factors include having to use excess force, having to assume an uncomfortable position, having to assume the same position often and for long periods of time and repetitive movements.

RSI correlates with unpleasant work atmosphere

RSI correlates with a disagreeable atmosphere at work and also to conflict situations between colleagues. It is possible that limited social support and an unpleasant atmosphere increase work-related stress and in combination with physical exertion, this increases the risk of RSI.

Anita Botterweck