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Is Typing Ergonomically A Myth?

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Almost every person will spend a minimum of 3 hours a day using a keyboard while doing work, messaging, replying emails/ messages, using social media and online shopping. This amount of time isn't usually associated with long-term health problems. However, improper posture and typing technique can lead to serious musculoskeletal issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome.


Health Risks From Improper Typing Positions

“Recent research shows that carpal tunnel isn’t likely a result of typing if you type less than 20 hours per week. However, if you type more than 28 hours per week, you’re more likely to have an increased risk for the syndrome. Some research indicates that carpal tunnel could also result from the position of your hand on your computer mouse.” Improper typing position can lead to swelling in the wrists, hands and fingers. It can also put added pressure on nerves, thus resulting in progressive pain or tingling in the fingers, hands, or arms. Gradual weakness in the thumb and poor grip strength are two other common complaints. Poor typing positions also generally accompany poor sitting posture which can lead to pain the shoulders, neck and back. In the long-term, bad posture while at a desk can even cause spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and other long-term musculoskeletal disorders.

Proper Typing Posture and How to Motivate Workers to Adopt Ergonomic Typing Positions

Proper typing posture is focused on three main areas:

  1. Wrist Placement Ergonomic typing requires keeping your wrists in a neutral position. This means you create a straight line from your forearm to your hand, rather than bending your wrist up or down. An ergonomic mouse, padded mouse pad and/or keyboard pad can all help achieve neutral wrist.

  2. Placement of the Keyboard To achieve a neutral wrist position, proper placement of the keyboard is essential. Ideally, all keyboards should be below elbow level, flat on the desk, or gently sloping away from the worker. Also, proper chair height ensures that the elbows are flexed at a slightly open angle between 90-110 degrees. This helps to reduce stress on shoulders and arms while typing.

  3. Proper Posture Lastly, ergonomic typing requires that workers adopt proper sitting technique. Feet flat on the floor and an erect back that is touching your chair back help to ensure the previous two recommendations.





To help your workers adopt the best ergonomic typing practices, investing in the proper equipment is key. Ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic desks , and ergonomic office chairs all play an important role in helping your workers adopt the best typing positions.

Make Your Workplace Ergonomic With Work-Fit

If you or your employees spend long hours in front of a computer, Urban Ergonomics can help! Urban Ergonomics also offers full office ergonomic assessment , equipment recommendations and injury prevention coaching for your office workforce. If your team spends long hours in front of the computer, let us help reduce postural and positional stress, and improve employee wellness. Contact Urban Ergonomics today to learn about how we can help your team!

Urban Ergonomics is a leading company that offers onsite and virtual injury prevention and management for your workforce. As the allied health professionals in applying sports medicine techniques in the workplace, we can help your company prevent injuries, create healthy employees and increase your bottom line.

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