Typing and Mousing Techniques to Avoid Injury December 19 2017
In today’s world, everyone has a computer at work, at home, and even in their pocket. However, many people don’t know that they could be using their devices in such a way that causes injury to the hands and wrists over time. Strain and muscle stress from incorrect typing or mousing techniques are the leading cause of these types of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). To avoid putting excessive strain on your joints, consider the following 5 essential techniques:
1. Avoid the “Plant and Pivot” method of holding your wrists when typing or using your mouse.
It is best to keep your wrists in a neutral, straight position when typing without having them bent up and down. When you consistently bend your wrist up and down to type or use the mouse (considered extension and flexion), it compresses the structures inside the carpal tunnel inside the wrist. This is one of the main ways people develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
2. Hold the mouse loosely.
Try not to grip your mouse forcefully or use a firm grip when using it. A tighter grip increases the tension in your wrist and throughout your fingers. Lessen the strain and hold your mouse loosely! You will feel a difference in the amount of soreness felt in your wrist and hand.
3. Keep that pinkie finger down.
Keeping all fingers on the mouse evenly is also essential to avoid putting too much strain on any one part of the hand. When you raise your pinkie finger while mousing, it places unnecessary stress on the tendons in the rest of your fingers. The correct technique for mousing is to rest all fingers of your hand loosely on the mouse.
4. Type lightly.
In accordance with the light touch approach described above, it is also best to type lightly on your keyboard instead of smashing those buttons. Typing heavily on your keyboard is actually putting more tension into your hands than is necessary. This strain will cause you an injury or soreness over time.
5. Curve your fingers.No rigid thumbs or pinkies up! The proper way to type is to curve all your fingers and keep them loose. This will increase your typing performance as well as prevent strain.
Optimal typing and mousing techniques can assist in the prevention of common repetitive stress injuries found in office workers or those you spend a lot of time at a computer. These techniques will not only result in less stress and strain on your wrists, hands and fingers but will also increase your efficiency when using these devices. It is in your best interest to pay special attention to the way you hold your mouse or type on your keyboard! Remember, ergonomic health is something that you need to work on a little bit every day, as the most common injuries that result from poor ergonomic practices can take years to develop. But by the time you’ve already done enough damage to your tendons and joints, it may be difficult to fully heal them while continuing to work in a computer-based office environment.