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Upper Limb Disorder (ULD)

Many Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs) can be avoided by following an effective practice that includes proper workstation set up, taking regular rest breaks and continuously being mindful of the tasks you are undertaking.

The term Upper Limb Disorder (formerly known as RSI) is an umbrella term used to describe a number of specific musculoskeletal conditions (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome or tenosynovitis) as well as 'diffuse RSI', which is more difficult to define but which recent research attributes to nerve damage. These conditions are often occupational in origin. Lack of adequate diagnosis or access to appropriate treatment can exacerbate the condition and so help should be sought as soon as possible. 

Important Typing Actions  

  • Float over your keyboard like a pianist - don't lean your wrists on the desk.
  • Keep your wrists as straight as possible - stow those keyboard feet and keep your keyboard flat.
  • Avoid pressing or leaning on your Carpal Tunnel area - where the wrist creases and your hand meets your forearm.
  • Take frequent rest breaks from the keyboard and mouse - 10-15 seconds rest every 10-15 minutes.

Where to seek help with ULD-related issues

Staff: in the first instance, contact the Occupational Health Service
Students: contact the Disability Resource Centre

Advice from the AT Specialist

There are a number of aspects to consider when coping with an ULD. We have found that combining a variety of strategies usually proves most successful, the following pages give more specific advice: