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Re: Carpal tunnel and serials work Anne Miller 20 Feb 1996 16:46 UTC

I confess I was very irritated at the speed with which this discussion
degenerated, since it is a significant occupational risk for many of us,
male or female.

That said, it should be pointed out that women are generally at a higher
risk for this particular repetitive motion injury for the simple reason
that their hands and wrists tend to be smaller, allowing less room for
the affected nerve tunnel and a higher chance that the nerve will be
irritated. This is true regardless of their weight or physical condition,
although it is possible (and even likely) that for some tasks having
better supporting muscles would lessen strain on the joint.

Many men do indeed suffer from carpal tunnel, however. Several of my male
colleagues here have at some point, for instance.

I myself had it temporarily some years ago after rearranging the books in
my college library's reference room- i.e. shelving.

It seemed at the time that the cause was not so much the lifting of the
books as the combined lifting and hand stretch required to grab them.
A possible remedy for future shelvers might involve holding fewer books
at once in the hand. Just an idea.

  -Anne Miller
   Serials Cataloger
   Boston University