With computer workstations becoming so central to most office job functions, repetitive stress conditions such as carpal tunnel have become increasingly common. The best way to protect yourself against conditions like this is by setting up your workstation with ergonomics in mind. With the right ergonomic structure to your desk and keyboard, you can ease the strain on your wrists and hands as well as the rest of your body.
Here are some tips to help you set up your workstation to protect against future injuries:
Look at the position of the lights overhead as well as any nearby windows, and place your monitor at a right angle to these lights. This will minimize glare on the display. Then, make sure that it's as far back from the chair as you can put it without sacrificing your ability to focus on the display.
Angle the center of the screen so that you can look at the display by only slightly bending your neck when your head is perpendicular to the floor. Then, align the keyboard and mouse to the position of the monitor.
Your keyboard should be placed at a height that's just slightly lower than your elbow. Make sure that when you sit in your chair comfortably, your wrists are straight when on the keyboard. Place a wrist wrest in front of the keyboard, but don't use it when you're typing. Rest your wrists on it when you're not typing, but make an effort to keep your wrists elevated off the supports any time you're actively working.
You may think that the supports on the back of the keyboard are good for protecting your wrists from damage. When extended, the supports elevate the back of the keyboard to tilt it. Your keyboard should sit at a negative angle, not the positive angle created by these supports. A flat keyboard at a negative angle allows your wrists to fall naturally instead of having to bend them, however slightly, to reach the inclined keys.
Your mouse should be level with your keyboard so that you can move your hand from one to the other with ease. Place it directly beside your keyboard, and line it up so that you can easily reach it if you place your hands on the keyboard and then rotate your arm from the elbow.
If your job requires computer work and time at an office workstation, these tips can help you combat the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you think you may be suffering from carpal tunnel already, your doctor and an orthopedic surgeon can help you explore your options. To learn more, contact a company like Omaha Orthopedic Clinic & Sports Medicine PC with any questions you have.