Many ergonomic problems associated with computing occur in the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. Continuous work on the computer can expose soft tissue in these areas to repetition, awkward postures, and forceful exertions, especially if the workstation is not set up properly. These can contribute or lead to chronic pain.
The following adjustments should be made to your computing area to help prevent the development of an ergonomic problems:
- First adjust your chair as mentioned before, then with your arms resting comfortably at your side, raise your forearms to form a 90 degree angle with your upper arms.
- Adjust keyboard height so your shoulders can relax and allow your upper arms to rest at your sides. An articulating keyboard tray is often necessary to accommodate the proper height and distance for each station user.
- You should position the keyboard directly in front of and close to you in order to avoid excessive reaching.
- Keep your forearms parallel to the floor (approximately 90 degree angle at elbow).
- Place your mouse adjacent to keyboard and at the same height as the keyboard. The back of the wrist should be kept flat (in a neutral position). Do not rest the hand on the mouse when your are not using it. Rest your hands in your lap when you are not keyboarding or using the mouse.
- Use a padded wrist rest to keep your wrist in a straight and neutral position while typing and keep your arms off the sharp edges of the work surface.
- Do not rest your wrists or hands on a palm or wrist rest when you are keying. These rests are designed to provide support only during breaks from keying.
- Adjust the slope of the keyboard so that it is flat, in order to keep your wrists straight, and not bent back while you are typing.
- Press the keys gently; do not bang them or hold them down for long periods. Keep your shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers relaxed
the proper position. If you raise your chair, make sure that your feet are properly
supported. These tips and others provided in this blog series will help you prevent chronic
pain due to computing.