In this article, we will look at the importance of typing ergonomics and give you 7 top tips for how to type safely for both for ourselves and our children.
In today’s digital age, typing has become an integral part of our daily lives, whether it’s for work, school, or leisure. While typing may seem like a harmless activity, improper typing habits can lead to long-term health issues.
Without proper typing posture, it’s easy to develop repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and finger strains.
1. Posture and Positioning: The Foundation of Safe Typing
Proper typing ergonomics begin with maintaining a correct posture and positioning. When sitting at a desk, there are few things you can easily check to ensure a safe setup at home or at work.
- Ensure your monitor is at eye level
- Check your back is adequately supported – use a backrest if necessary.
- Adjust your keyboard and chair height so that your forearms are parallel to the floor when typing, and your wrists remain in a neutral position.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and avoid sitting with crossed legs for extended periods.
These simple adjustments can make a significant difference in preventing strain and discomfort when you type.
2. Keeping Wrists Neutral: The Key to Pain-Free Typing
An essential aspect of safe typing is keeping your wrists in a neutral position. Avoid bending your wrists outward toward your pinky finger or inward toward your thumb while typing.
Instead, aim to keep your wrists straight and aligned with your hands. This adjustment can help to alleviate stress on the wrist joints and reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Let Your Hands Float Freely
There are mixed views about using wrist rests. They may seem like a comfortable accessory for typing, but they can actually do more harm than good.
With a wrist rest you tend to rest your wrists down putting pressure on the wrist joints.
Instead, it’s best to let your hands to float above the keyboard. This allows your fingers to move freely and reduces the need for contorted hand positions.
If you find yourself resting your wrists on the edge of a desk or table while typing, make a conscious effort to keep your wrists floating in the air.
Our students find it more comfortable to push the keyboard away from the edge of the desk so that they can rest their forearms on the desk, allowing the wrists to move freely.
4. Change Hand Positions Often: Give Your Wrists a Break
Typing for long periods of time in the same hand position can lead to discomfort and strain. To avoid this, practice changing your positions regularly. For example, move your hands frequently, turning your hands over so that your knuckles are facing down rather than up. This simple action provides a brief respite for your wrists and helps prevent repetitive stress.
5. Perform Some Wrist Stretches To Help Keep Your Wrists Flexible
Stretching your wrists daily helps to maintain wrist flexibility and reduce tension. Here is an example of a simple stretch you can do at home or at work.
- Stand with your arms straight out in front of you, fingers extended, and palms facing the ground.
- Raise both hands in a “stop” position, making a fist, and rotating your fist to face the wall.
- Repeat the sequence ten times.
6. Use an External Keyboard & Mouse: To Enhance Comfort and Productivity
So many of us use a laptop keyboard these days but it can be more comfortable to use an external keyboard and mouse when you type, especially if you type for long periods of time.
Using a separate keyboard and mouse allows for a more neutral wrist position and allows you to move it around to maintain an optimal distance from your laptop screen, reducing strain on your neck and shoulders.
You can even consider investing in an ergonomic keyboard with a split design which helps even more with wrist alignment and comfort.
We notice that many of our students rest their fingers and arms/wrists in an inverted V shape on the keyboard. Moving the fingers in an up and down movement can feel quite uncomfortable in this position. In this case a split ergonomic keyboard is a much better option than a conventional keyboard to allow the fingers to be placed in their most natural position.
7. Elevate Your Laptop: Eye-Level Screen Positioning
If you type using a laptop, maintaining proper screen positioning is so important. According to ergonomists, your screen should be at eye level or slightly below to maintain a straight neck position.
To achieve this you can use a laptop tray or create a DIY solution by elevating your laptop with books or printer paper. Combining this with an external keyboard will help to ensure a more comfortable typing posture.
It’s important to ensure safe and healthy typing practices to help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Try and incorporate these 7 top tips for typing into your daily routine to help reduce the risk of discomfort and pain.
Focus on keeping your wrists in a neutral position and take lots of breaks. Aim to have a screen break (eyes away from the screen) every 20 minutes and stand up and stretch from time to time.
It’s worth thinking about using an external keyboard and mouse to make your typing as comfortable as possible.
Happy (and safe) typing!
Check out our range of touch typing courses to see which would suit your needs and enable you to learn how to type faster and enroll online. Alternatively, give us a call on 020 3962 2059 to have a friendly chat about how we can help you!