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It might be hard to imagine that something as simple as an armrest could take ten years to design.

University of Guelph researchers are saying, however, that a decade of research into the movements of people's arms and necks was worth it.

They have produced a "revolutionary" new armrest design they claim can reduce repetitive strain injuries.

Initially meant for machinery operators, who spend entire shifts pulling levers and reaching for switches, the researchers say the armrest can be used on any chair.

Lead researcher Michele Oliver said in a release that the new device reduces muscle activity in the neck by 60 per cent, which helps prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Dr. Oliver said she hopes to have the new armrests installed in "hundreds of thousands of work environments" over the next three years.

After recently receiving a $122,000 grant to produce the armrests commercially, she said their $200 cost to produce would be a small price to pay to save companies insurance premiums.