International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day

Raise awareness – Prevent the pain

Two images. On the left, a woman holds her the back of her neck in pain while looking at her computer screen. On the right, there is a close-up picture of hands, and a person with a wrench is holding their wrist in pain.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day is February 29th. As the only "non-repetitive" day of the year, it’s the ideal date to devote to raising awareness of repetitive strain injuries.

February 28th in non-leap years

hashtagPreventRSI

About RSIs

RSI stands for repetitive strain injuries. Also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), RSIs are an umbrella term used to describe a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands.

Who’s at risk?

RSIs can happen to a variety of workers from all types of industries. Gripping, holding, bending, twisting, clenching, and reaching - these ordinary movements that we naturally make every day are not particularly harmful in the activities of our daily lives. What does make them hazardous in work situations though, is the continual repetition of the movements. Other contributing work factors may include awkward postures and fixed body positions, excessive force concentrated on small parts of the body such as the hand or wrist, a fast pace of work with insufficient breaks or recovery time, and psychosocial factors such as stress.

What are the signs?

There are a number of signs that you may be suffering from an RSI. Pain is the most common symptom associated with workplace RSIs. In some cases, there may be joint stiffness, muscle tightness, redness and swelling of the affected area. Some workers may also experience sensations of "pins and needles," numbness, skin colour changes, and decreased sweating of the hands. Learn more about the signs and their stages.

Preventing Workplace RSIs

RSIs are the most frequent type of lost-time injury and the single largest source of lost-time costs in Canada. Preventing them for occurring not only protects your workers, but also makes good business sense.

  • Eliminate hazards at the source.
    Prevention of RSIs should focus on eliminating repetitive work through job design which may involve mechanizing certain tasks. In addition, jobs should be structured so that workers can rotate between different tasks, using different muscles groups.
  • Create a well-designed workstation.
    When it is not practical to eliminate the repetitive aspect of a job, a well-designed workstation that is adjusted to fit the worker and allows standing, sitting, or sitting-standing positions, can help. Workers should be provided with appropriate, carefully maintained tools and equipment to reduce the force needed to complete tasks and prevent muscle strain, and avoid awkward positions.
  • Educate and train.
    Because RSIs develop slowly, workers should be trained to understand what causes these injuries, how best to prevent them, and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of RSI. Workers need to know how to adjust workstations to fit their tasks and individual needs. In addition, employers should encourage workers to take short, frequent rest breaks.

Resources to help address repetitive strain injuries

Raise awareness on social media

Share the following postcards on your favorite social media channel to help spread the word about repetitive strain injuries:

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day postcard for healthcare professionals

A healthcare professional holds his lower back in pain while looking at an
                      X-ray

Because your health matters, too.

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day – Feb 28

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day postcard for office workers

A woman seated at her desk, looking at a computer screen. Her hand is placed on the back of her neck to ease muscle tension

Something not feeling right? Don’t just sit on it.

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day – Feb 28

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day postcard for retail workers

A grocery-store cashier is scanning items at the checkout

It’s not a race. Watch your pace.

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day – Feb 28

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day postcard for factory workers and contractors

A close-up picture of hands. A person with a wrench is holding their wrist in pain

Because work shouldn’t get on your nerves.

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day – Feb 28

Raise awareness of RSI Day on your website

Provide workers with information about repetitive strain injuries. Download these badges and link to this RSI Day page.

Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day: A dark blue rectangular badge

A dark blue rectangular badge for a website that says Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, February 28, and Learn More.

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Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day: A bright blue rectangular badge

A bright blue rectangular badge for a website that says Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, February 28, and Learn More.

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Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day: A white rectangular badge

A white rectangular badge for a website that says Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, February 28, and Learn More.

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