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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
Female migrant workers discuss the pain in their hands after long hours of sewing and repetitive factory work.

2min 5sec

Repetitious Work Affects Migrant Women is an excerpt from the film Teno (10 mins),

produced in 1984.

Teno looks at a widespread workplace illness, tenosynovitis - a crippling and often misunderstood disease. The nature of modern work practices can inadvertently lead to the illness, which mostly strikes women, since they predominantly work in jobs requiring repetitious activity. This is especially evident among migrant workers. The program also considers the responsibility of both employers and employees.

Teno was produced by the Women’s Film Unit for Film Australia.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: Health/PE
Year: 7-8
Strand: Health of individuals and populations
Theme: Health Work

Key Concepts

Personal Health; Safety

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Physical activity and the community
Health of individuals and populations Safety
NSW:Promoting health 9.2, 9.3, 9.4
NT:HP 4.1, PA4.2
Qld:Promoting the health of individuals and populations 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.4
SA:Health of Individuals and Communities 4.6, 4.7
Tas:Personal futures: Maintaining well-being Standard 4
Vic:Health of individuals and populations 4.1, 4.2, 5.1
WA:Skills for physical activity, self management skills

Context / Background Information

Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the lining of the tendon sheath and it usually occurs at the same time as tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon itself. Symptoms include crippling pain and swelling. Tenosynovitis is most common in workers who are in jobs requiring repetitive activity, such as in factory production lines. However, often people who use word processors and computers are affected by the disease. The most frequently diagnosed tenosynovitis is in the wrist or the hand.

Discussion Pointers

  1. These people are working in jobs where they suffer pain. Brainstorm the skeletal system and students’ knowledge of the different parts including bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
  2. Ask students to think about their favourite sporting activity.
  3. Discuss if there are any common injuries associated with that sport.
  4. Discuss the parts of the body that are affected and how they are treated.

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. Find out the meanings of the following terms: RSI (repetitive strain injury), tendon, ligament, inflammation, infection, analgesic, chronic, acute.
  2. Find some tendons. Tendons are attached from the end of a muscle to a nearby bone. If you tense your muscles you can sometimes feel the tendon.
  3. Try this: Make a fist and feel the tendon on the inside of your wrist. Clench your teeth and feel the tendons on each side of your neck. Flex your foot and feel the big tendon at the back of your heel.
  4. Research tenosynovitis. Find out: what usually causes the injury, the symptoms, what sorts of treatments are used (including medicines, bandages, exercises and operations). What sorts of measures can be taken to prevent the injury?
  5. Design a poster for the work place to alert people to the possibility of tenosynovitis and/or to instruct about its prevention.
  6. Research a sports injury associated with a favourite sport. (eg tennis elbow; shin splints – running; cruciate ligament injuries – football). What part of the body does it affect? It this injury acute or chronic?
  7. Find out: what usually causes the injury; the symptoms; what sorts of treatments are used (including medicines, bandages, exercises and operations); and finally what sorts of measures can be taken to prevent the injury.
  8. Design a poster for the gym or sports field to help prevent the injury you have chosen.

Modules That Use This Clip

English Year 9-10, Health/PE Year 7-8, Science Year 7-8