RSI questionnaire: can you help out?

Orhan Korhan is a research assistant at my dad's university who is studying Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders during computer use. Those of us in the industry probably know it better as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). Orhan has prepared a questionnaire that he would like your help in filling out.

A couple of years ago, I had such severe RSI that I couldn't move, with shooting pains all the way up my body. Thankfully, physiotherapy, a new chair, changing my typing habits, and not using a mouse has meant that I have been relatively RSI-free in the interim. I've also realized that I personally find it easier and less tiring to work with a laptop on my lap where I can move it around as I work (although I may be quite unique in this based on my conversations with friends). Finally, I've had less symptoms after switching to a Mac but that may have to do with my reduced stress levels more than anything else. All this to say that though the specter of RSI looms close-by always, I've been fortunate that it has not chosen to visit me recently.

My friend Dave, whom I'm working together with on, has not been as lucky recently and has had his RSI resurface (and he's only in his early twenties). RSI is something that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives. It is the reason that badly designed interfaces infuriate me so. A badly designed interface can actually hurt you physically under prolonged use and this is something that I feel we need to talk about more openly in our industry and take steps to tackle.

Before I get too carried away, let me return to the original reason behind this post, the RSI questionnaire.

Details from the questionnaire are below:

You are being invited to answer a questionnaire about Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders during computer use. There are no risks or penalties for your participation in this research study. However, there is substantial potential for benefit. The information you provide will help us learn more about people's experience in computer use and related musculoskeletal disorders.

The Department of Industrial Engineering at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) may inspect these records. In all other respects, however, the data will be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law. Should the data be published, your identity will not be disclosed.

Please remember that your participation in this study is voluntary. By completing the questionnaire you are voluntarily agreeing to participate. You are also indicating that the questions below have been answered in a language you can understand. All future questions will be treated in the same manner. You may refuse to participate without being subject to any penalty or losing any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to call or email Asst. Prof. Dr. Adham Mackieh (630 2141) or Research Assistant Orhan Korhan (630 2807). (,

Thank you for your help with Orhan's research and remember to take care of your wrists and hands! Many times RSI is non-reversible and it's best to adopt good practices such as having a good chair, proper posture, taking breaks, and (at least for me) not typing when stressed out (gee, that never happens in our industry does it?) :)