February 28 is Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day

Repetition of common movements can cause long-term problems.

15 February 2023


Repetitive strain injuries, or RSIs, are painful disorders associated with the repetition of common movements. RSIs may affect muscles and nerves in the neck, wrist, back, shoulders and other parts of the body. Common RSIs include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Tendonitis

What are some ways to prevent RSIs?

RSIs are some of the most common workplace injuries and affect a wide variety of workers across multiple industries. Prevention strategies include:

  1. Where possible, eliminate repetitive tasks or share the task between workers.
  2. If you must conduct a repetitive task, take frequent breaks and build in some stretches to minimize strain.
  3. Ensure that your workstation is properly configured to fit the worker and enable a variety of positions (such as options for both standing and sitting). 
  4. Talk about it: educate and train workers to recognize and reduce repetitive movements, and to be aware of early symptoms of RSIs, such as muscle tightness, numbness or painful joints.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides fact sheets and other resources to help prevent injuries associated with improper lifting, pushing and pulling. 

Health, Safety and Environment also offers a self-assessment tool, online training, and more information to help you to evaluate your workstation and make ergonomic adjustments as required.

Learn more

The University of Alberta is committed to the safety, health and well-being of our faculty, staff and students. Every day, we advance this commitment to safety through the Culture of Care.