Computer Use Doesn't Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

June 11, 2001 ( - Heavy computer use, even up to seven hours per day, does not increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a new study.

Research undertaken at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, revealed that since the syndrome is a common condition affecting 10% of the population, it follows that some computer users will develop it.

Surveys were sent to 314 computer workers at the Mayo facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, inquiring about common symptoms of the syndrome. Researchers interviewed 257 who indicated symptoms.

Unless the patients were clearly diagnosable with a condition other than carpal tunnel, they were tested for the syndrome via electromyogram (EMG) or a nerve conduction study.

Only 10.5% of the participants met clinical criteria for carpal tunnel, and in 3.5% of the cases, an EMG confirmed the syndrome.

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