International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day Date in the current year: February 29, 2024

International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, also known as RSI Awareness Day, is observed annually on the last day of February (February 28 in common years and February 29 in leap years). It was created to raise awareness of a rather common type of injury that nevertheless does not receive nearly enough attention.

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are a family of injuries to the musculoskeletal or nervous system caused by repetitive movements, long periods in a fixed position, compression, or vibrations. They can affect muscles, nerves, joints and tendons in the neck, back, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. Examples of RSIs include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer’s and tennis elbow (medial and lateral epicondylitis, respectively), focal dystonia, herniated disk, and more.

RSIs are most commonly caused by occupational factors. They can happen to workers from all types of industries whose jobs involve repetitive movements (bending, clenching, gripping, holding, lifting, pulling, pushing, reaching twisting, typing) and/or awkward or fixed body positions. More often than not, RSIs are the result of cumulative trauma caused by seemingly harmless activities. Poor posture and psychological factors such as stress may contribute to the development of RSIs.

The most common signs and symptoms of RSI include aching and tiredness of the affected area, pain, redness and swelling of the affected area, sensations of numbness and “pins and needles”, muscle tightness, and joint stiffness. There are no quick ways to treat RSIs, so preventing them from occurring is more beneficial for both employees and employers. Prevention of workplace RSIs should focus on eliminating hazards, creating well-designed workstations, and educating workers on RSIs and occupational safety.

International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day originated in Canada in 2000. It was established by Catherine Fenech from Toronto, who had suffered a repetitive strain injury at work and launched a campaign for better workplace safety. She chose February 29 as the only “non-repetitive” day of the year; during common years, RSI Awareness Day events take place on February 28.

There events are organized by occupational health and safety organizations, health professionals, employers, and other relevant stakeholders. They include seminars and webinars, informational workshops, social media campaigns, free check-ups, and more. If you want to know more about repetitive strain injuries and occupational safety, you should attend one of these events.

What are other ways to observe International RSI Awareness Day? You can learn more about the different types of repetitive strain injuries, their causes, signs and the ways to prevent them, ensure that your workstation has good ergonomics (especially if your work from home and there is no one to take care of it but yourself), have a discussion with your employer and coworkers about RSI prevention, and spread awareness on social media with the hashtags #RepetitiveStrainInjuryAwarenessDay, #RSIAwarenessDay and #PreventRSI.

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International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, International RSI Day, international observances, awareness days