Ergonomics is centered on the body’s physiology when using furniture, tools and other products. When your ergonomics are optimal, you feel comfortable and pain-free while using objects of varying sorts. Remain cognizant of ergonomics and you will avoid potentially life-changing injuries.
The Importance of Typing Ergonomics
Typing ergonomics is the manner in which an individual interacts with his or her computer keyboard and mouse. If you do not have the proper form and fit with your keyboard/mouse, you will inevitably end up with hand, wrist and/or finger pain. If typing stresses or strains any part of your body, you will eventually end up with such an injury. In particular, carpal tunnel syndrome is especially common amongst typists and those who type at a high frequency.
Additional common injuries resulting from poor typing posture include:
- Trigger finger
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome
- De Quervain syndrome
The bottom line is your body can break down performing any type of activity, even if it is something as seemingly simple as typing.
Tips for Proper Typing Ergonomics
Typing ergonomics is centered on the proper positioning of the hands as well as the proper sitting posture. If you are not sitting as you should, you will end up with pain in your back, shoulders, arms and possibly even your hands. This is precisely why you should sit upright with a straight back as you type. If necessary, slightly recline against the back support for improved comfort and blood circulation.
Your forearms must be perfectly parallel to the ground. Position your feet flat on the ground or atop a footrest. Any other positioning will result in insufficient support and stability. The knees must be bent at a 90-degree angle. Furthermore, there should be ample space between the seat edge and the backs of your knees to facilitate proper blood circulation. Finally, your thighs should be positioned parallel to the ground as you type. If desired, you can support your lower back with a bunched up/rolled up soft towel.
Mind Your Chair
Any old office chair will not suffice for those who type with regularity. Make the investment in an ergonomic office chair and your body will have a better chance of standing the test of time after being subjected to eight or more hours of sitting in front of the computer on a daily basis.
Mindfulness When Typing
It is a mistake to pound on the keyboard as you type. Such excessive pressure sends potentially harmful vibrations throughout your fingers and hands. Instead, type with light pressure. Consider an investment in an ergonomic keyboard to relax the muscles within your arms, hands, neck and shoulders. You might also find an angled or split keyboard suits your unique typing comfort preference. Finally, the keyboard should be positioned close enough to your hands that you do not have to reach for it while seated.
Typing Ergonomics Mistakes to Avoid
Plenty of people who type for a living end up resting the heel of their wrist or hand on the bottom portion of the keyboard. This is a mistake as it will stretch out the nerve of the carpal tunnel to the point that it is strained and quite painful.
Instead of resting your tired hand on the bottom of the keyboard, it is better to take a break in between typing sessions. Stretch out your hands during these breaks, put some eye drops in your eyes and you really will feel that much more refreshed. It will also help to position the mouse on the same level as your keyboard. Otherwise, you will end up with arm or wrist strain due to the height differences between the two.