5 Keyboard Risk Factors and How to Prevent Them February 18 2020
Heavy computer users rely on keyboards and mice throughout the day. It’s important to choose the correct keyboard for you. Even before you invest in an ergonomic keyboard, there are many considerations to make. Keep reading to learn how to prevent injuries due to typing. The risk factors of using keyboards incorrectly can not only impact your comfort but your productivity as well.
1. Carpal Tunnel
This injury is common among computer users. It happens when stress is put on your wrist and the main nerve in your wrist. Early warning signs are numbness or tingly feeling in your hands and forearms.
- In order to prevent carpal tunnel your wrists and forearms need to rest flat on a soft surface. Consider using wrist supports.
- Pay attention to the position of your wrists and arms while typing. Your elbows should be slightly bent, allowing your wrists to rest in a neutral position.
2. High Force
Many of us use more force when typing than needed. This unnecessary force can cause strain from your fingers to your shoulders.
- Actively relax your grip and soften your keystrokes.
- Try setting a reminder on your computer to take regular breaks.
- Keep your hands warm. Cold hands are more likely to be stiff.
3. Tendinitis (Mouse Shoulder)
This injury is broad and can be caused by a variety of situations. Tendinitis occurs when a tendon is inflamed. Mouse shoulder is a common type of tendinitis that computer users can obtain. Signs of mouse shoulder are pains from your neck and shoulder through your arm and hands.
- If your chair’s armrests align with the height of your desk, use them to rest your arms.
- You don’t have to rely on your chair’s arm rests. Consider investing in forearm supports to relieve some stress from your shoulders.
4. Tennis (Computer) Elbow
Another type of tendinitis common among heavy computer users is called tennis elbow. Named for athletes who experience high force in their arms and wrist from hitting a ball with a racket. However, non-athletes can have tennis elbow as well. It occurs when tendons in your elbow become irritated due to repetitive motion of your wrist and forearm.
- A great way to prevent computer elbow is to do stretched throughout the day. Start off by extending your arm out in front of you. Then press your palm against the wall so that your fingers are pointing downwards.
5. Repetitive Strain Injury
Injuries can occur when you do the same movements over and over. As a heavy computer user, typing and using the mouse are likely to cause strain from your fingers to your shoulders.
- Alternate tasks throughout the day.
- If you notice an ache or pain alternate between hot and cold. Ice the injured area for ten minutes then use a heating pad for ten minutes.
Ergo Works® in Palo Alto, CA is your ergonomic expert. To learn more about strategies to improve your ergonomic health, contact us. We can help you create a safe and healthy work environment. Our team was developed to combat ergonomic concerns among heavy computer users. Schedule any of our three levels of Ergonomic Evaluations to begin your ergonomic health journey.
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