Feeds

Schools should teach typing to prevent RSI, says TUC

Kids need keyboard life skills

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Typing should be taught in schools as a way to prevent the suffering of tens of thousands of UK workers from repetitive strain injury (RSI), according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The call was made to mark RSI day, which is today.

Poor typing skills are responsible for many cases of RSI, said the TUC, and these cases would be avoided if children were taught to type properly in school.

"Despite the reality that most people are more likely these days to use a computer to write a document than a pen, school children are not routinely being taught how to type," said TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber. "Keyboard skills are not a statutory part of the National Curriculum, although individual schools can decide to introduce them.

"This means that millions of children are missing out on a life skill that could help protect the workforce of tomorrow from this painful and chronic illness," said Barber. "The government should introduce touch typing and keyboard skills into the National Curriculum as soon as possible."

The TUC said 375,000 people in the UK suffer from some kind of musculoskeletal disorder in their upper body that has been worsened by their working conditions.

"One of the causes of RSI is the large number of two-fingered typists who use computers for a considerable part of the working day without any proper keyboard training," said the TUC statement. "The extra force and position of the hands when employees type using only two fingers makes the degree of strain worse, yet few employers even think of providing training for their staff on this very important workplace skill."

The TUC has produced a set of guidelines on how best to avoid falling victim to RSI. They are:

  • You should have enough space to work.
  • The top of your screen should be at eye level and at a comfortable distance away from you.
  • Your forearms should be horizontal.
  • Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a foot rest if you need one.
  • Wrist or palm rests should be provided and there should be space in front of the keyboard to support the hands during pauses in typing.
  • If you do a lot of typing then make sure your employer offers you touch-typing training. Two finger typists are far more likely to get pains in the hand wrist and forearms.
  • You are legally entitled to have your computer equipment and workstation assessed to make sure that it meets your own individual needs.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.