Working at a computer can put a great deal of strain on the human body: on the eyes, on the neck and shoulders, the back and the hands. Typing for long hours can cause aches and pains in the fingers, so make a few changes to minimise hand pain and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) when using a computer.
1. Sit properly.
Ensure that you are sitting at your desk correctly. This means ensuring that your feet are placed squarely on the floor, or alternatively on a footrest, and that your arms are level or in parallel with the desk, and not being forced to tilt upwards. Also, try not to slouch too much, as this can lead to back and shoulder pain.
2. Get a decent chair.
Sitting properly can be made easier by using a decent computer chair. If buying an ergonomic chair is too much of an expense, customise a standard chair by placing a firm pillow in the lumbar region.
3. Supplement with forearm supports
If you are still experiencing pain when typing, consider buying some forearm supports. These attach to the edge of the desk and you lay your forearms along them to keep them straight.
4. Ergonomic hardware
Change your standard keyboard and mouse to ergonomic ones. An ergonomic keyboard has keys laid out in such a way that the shape of the hand fits more naturally to them, while an ergonomic mouse, which is basically a mouse that is turned on its side, helps the hand to occupy a more natural, vertical position.
5. Don’t type
Use a dictation software, such as Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking, so you don’t have to type at all, or at least, reduce the amount of typing you need to perform. It will require a certain amount of training, and the results will not always be perfect, but this software can be a real help when word processing needs to be done but the hands aren’t up to it.
6. Take breaks
Finally, ensure that you take breaks away from the computer at least once an hour. Get up from your desk, go and make a cup of tea, or take a short walk, just get away from the screen for about 15 minutes. This will not only give your hands and body a break, but will enable you to rest your eyes as well.
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