The use of computers every day is now part of our lives at work, home, school, or business. An office employee spends, on average, 95% of the day working on a computer, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Neck, shoulder and back pain, along with eyestrain and injuries to the hands and wrists can be as a result of working at a computer. They are altogether known as RSIs, repetitive strain injuries. These injuries can cause prolonged and severe pain, resulting in movement impairment and muscle weakness. Typing ergonomics have become more important than ever because of the high risk of severe RSIs among computer users.
What Does Ergonomics Mean?
The word ergonomics takes on a more precise definition in regards to typing. It refers to taking on the right position while typing to avoid RSIs and body stress to achieve optimal comfort.
People who haven’t used typing software or have no formal typing training are commonly at a higher risk of developing typing related injuries. Ergonomics will help you prevent painful RSIs following the “three P’s” of typing.
Awkward movements of the hand can result in muscle strain and damage. It is necessary to position your hand and arms properly over the keyboard. Let your keyboard be positioned at a height that facilitates this. You may have to adjust your sitting height as well.
Also, place the backs of your hands parallel to the keyboard to avoid wrist strain. While you type, let your forearms be at the same level as your keyboard and your elbows supported and resting comfortably by your side.
Avoid slouching while using a computer, to prevent pain and injuries. Try to keep your spine neutral, with the three natural curves of the spine present and not overly arched. Plant your feet on the floor, if necessary, adjust your chair height with a footstool. Let your head be positioned directly above your pelvis while you keep your shoulders relaxed.
An ergonomic workstation set up should be functional and comfortable. Place your monitor slightly lower than your eye level or just at your eye level. You will be forced to strain your neck if positioned at a level higher than the eye.
Choose an ergonomic chair that gives lumbar support. While you sit, it can generally help your spine to hold its curve. Also, position your desktop to provide enough room for your keyboard and mouse. A restricted space doesn’t give you enough room to type and causes uncomfortable and incorrect positioning.
Typing daily shouldn’t result in physical stress or prolonged pain. Abiding by these simple ergonomic principles will create and maintain a comfortable and safe work environment.
To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!