26 Feb More Ergo Help to Avoid Wrist Pain
The response to our last post, Here’s an Ergo Secret That Will Help Your Wrists Rest Easy was so overwhelming, that we decided to write a sequel.
The last article put the spot light on twisting your wrist when typing and mousing and the havoc that can wreak on your hands, wrists, forearms and elbows. Well, now let’s turn the light on another wrist no-no which is bending your wrist back, otherwise known as wrist extension.
Wrist bends are very common when you type and mouse, but can also show up when you write (with a pen or pencil), dial a phone, think about what you are about to write or type (we call this the “waiting” hand), and the list goes on and on. What’s the big deal you may be asking?
Well, instead of taking our word for it, try feeling for yourself what happens when you work in this position. (And please take a minute to actually do the exercise rather than just read about it.)
- First, drop your arms by your sides and bend your elbows as if you were about to type something. (You know air guitar, well this is air typing.)
- Keeping your wrists nice and leve, flutter your fingers like you were typing. Easy right?
- Now, bend your wrists back and try the same fluttery finger moves. Not as easy!
- Try the same thing as though your were clicking your mouse – first with a level wrist then with bent back wrist.
Out of context, it’s pretty glaring. But in the throes of answering a billion e-mails, texts, proposals, work deadlines, etc., it’s easy to ignore the strain signals that your body is giving you until you feel an ache, pain or strain. And these nagging discomforts can show up in your hand, fingers (numbing and tingling), forearm and even your elbow. And even more surprising, working with your wrists bent back can even cause tightness and pain in your shoulder blade area – known as trigger points.
The easy fix of course is your set up. The simple guidelines are as follows:
Keyboard Tips & Tricks
- Set up your keyboard (on whatever device) so that you are typing at elbow level or ever so slightly below elbow level. NEVER above, and not too low as this will cause your wrists to bend back.
- Avoid resting your wrists on the edge of your computer, laptop and especially on the edge of your desk.
- On the back of most keyboards, you will find little legs that lift the back of the keyboard up. Make your keyboard as flat as possible. In fact, you may even want to try putting your keyboard at a negative tilt.
Mousing Tips & Tricks
- Make sure your mouse is high enough so that you can keep your wrist level. If you are working on a desk top or with a keyboard tray, keep your mouse close to your keyboard and raise the surface of your mouse so that the surface it rests on is level with your keyboard. (You can use multiple mouse pads stacked on top of each other or small book for this)
- Switch to a low profile mouse, track pad, hand-shoe mouse or a mouse in front like a roller mouse
- Embrace key commands so that you minimize mouse use!
If your wrists, hands or forearms are feeling a bit fatigued, then try this stretch! It can do wonders for you!
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment below and tell us what works for you or doesn’t and if you really want to heat things up, come over to our Facebook Page and post a before and after picture of your wrist make over.
Stuck and not sure what to do? Post a picture and we’ll make some suggestions on how to improve your set up!
Until the next time!
Vivienne & Andrew