According to a recent study by Dutch researchers, regular exercise might be even more important than ergonomic devices in treating work-related upper body complaints and repetitive stress injuries. Researcher Arianne Verhagen, Ph.D., MSc, a physiotherapist at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and her team reviewed 21 studies on work-related arm, neck and shoulder complaints. The studies included 2,110 patients.

Tested against other interventions such as relaxation, ultrasound, biofeedback and ergonomic workplace adjustments, Verhagen’s team found that exercise was most often the most beneficial. Most of the exercise studies showed beneficial results, said Verhagen, but no particular exercise type stood out as being best.

A recent review appears in the current issue of the Cochrane Library, published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international nonprofit consortium that promotes evidence-based medicine. To read the review,