Prevent repetitive stress injuries

Tips and measures to prevent repetitive stress injury while working on your computer.

Norsk versjon - Forebygg musearm

Subject page about HSE | Pages labelled with ergonomics

"Mouse arm" is a collective term for strain injuries that involve pain in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, forearms, wrists or fingers caused by using computers, tablets, keyboard and mice.

Causes of repetitive strain injury

  • Intense computer use with few or no breaks
  • Work that is demanding on eyesight and concentration
  • Poor ergonomic set-up
  • Poor working technique
  • Organizational situation (e.g. stress caused by deadlines)
  • Psychological strain/mental demands
  • May often be a combination of several conditions

Advice for preventing repetitive stress injury

  • Listen to your body. Pay attention to what it tells you.
  • Make sure to organize your workplace ergonomically (desk, screen, lighting, etc.). Get help if needed.
  • Check your eyesight. Do you need computer glasses or new lenses?
  • Useful equipment for your computer workplace (pdf) (Rollermouse, Mousetrapper, wireless mouse, etc.)
  • Learn the short-cut keys and function keys
  • Keep the mouse parallel to the keyboard. Avoid reaching for it forwards or sideways
  • If you are feeling stressed out – do something about it.
  • If you are experiencing prolonged pain, see a physician or physiotherapist.
  • Variation, exercises, workplace stretches:
    • Organize your workday to facilitate variation (sit, stand, walk).
    • If you are sitting down a lot, use the chair's variation functions actively.
    • Take short breaks and look out the window
    • Do some stretches or exercises (pdf); stretch your forearm muscles, take a walk, or run up the stairs instead of using the elevator
    • Consider doing some workplace stretches with your colleagues
    • Exercise during your spare time. Regularly engaging in physical activity is good for both body and soul.


Tina Hagen, Occupational Physiotherapist

Occupational Health Services