Millions of people worldwide spend hours in front of a computer daily. They overuse the muscle in their wrist and hands which causes repetitive stress injury. This is a disabling illness which is caused by prolonged tedious hand movements, especially those involved in continuous computer work.
Symptoms of repetitive stress injury include; recurrent shooting pains in the back, forearms, hands, elbow, shoulders, neck and wrists. Many adults have been affected by this rare condition. This is because of their frequent use of computers both in their leisure time and in their jobs.
Repetitive stress injury needs an extensive drug, costly diagnostic tests, therapy as well as surgery in some serious cases. Therefore, it is recommended that if you are spending several hours a day with a computer, you should learn the tips on how to work comfortably. Here are some helpful tips on how you can avoid repetitive stress injury at work and at home.
1. Always replace or adjust your keyboard
You should know that you should never raise the back of the keyboard when typing. The right keyboard adjustment is the one which has the keyboard which is below elbow level and one that is flat. With this position, you should be able to easily type in the neutral position with your wrist.
If you find that the keyboard is not at the right height, then choose the adjustment which should keep your wrist to the neutral position. Replace your keyboard with more modern keyboards such as Microsoft natural keyboards, which you will easy type with your wrist in a good position.
2. You should take regular breaks
If you are suffering from repetitive stress injury, then you should take regular breaks at least after every twenty to thirty minutes of nonstop activity. You should have a brief walk to relax the eyes, stretch your limbs and take a glass of water. This will be a benefit health wise, and you will become more productive. Note that it is not easy to take a break while working, so you should always set a reminder to help you take regular breaks.
3. Always type using a neutral wrist position
Always remember that when you are typing your wrist should always be in a neutral position. You should never bend your wrist toward your little finger, never bend your wrist toward your thumb, and you should never type with your wrist bent towards you. Note that when you type with your wrist in other position, you will put additional stress on the sheaths and tendons and this will increase the risk of repetitive stress injury.
4. Have a comfortable chair while typing
Your seat can make you have trouble if you spend a lot of time sitting on it and does not give you the required support. Your chair should have a five-point base, breathable fabric and should be fully adjustable. You should be able to adjust the backrest as well as the armrest heights.
To boost a good posture when seated, you should adjust the seat pan to tilt forward. Make sure that you also tilt the backrest backward. Remember your knees should bend at 90 degrees and your feet should be flat on the floor. It is important to make sure that the armrests are low enough to avoid resting your arms on them while typing. If the armrest prevents you from adjusting your chair easily or they prevent your chair to be at a comfortable space from the keyboard, then you should remove them.
These are just but a few tips that will help you know how you can avoid repetitive stress injury. Other tips such as regular exercises, taking easy after a holiday, eating a balanced diet and visiting your doctor should never be ignored.