The hand to keyboard relationship is the most strained interface between you and your computer. Typing can be more than a bothersome task. Typing can cause permanent damage to your hands and wrists. It has been found that approximately 60 % of keyboard operators can be found to have recurring symptoms of keyboard related injury. Damage to wrist and hand function can be so severe that in approximately 10 % of those affected have had to contact health care professionals - be it Physiotherapist, chiropractor, medical gp or orthopedic medical specialist.
The most serious of the health problems associated with keyboard use is the same ailment suffered by chicken puckers and meat packers. The formal medical name for this ailment is Repetitive Stain injury (RSI). The name explains the cause. Straining to perform the same hand movements over and over again and again eventually leads to physical wrist and / or hand damage. The most common manifestation of RSI among computer keyboard users is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
Although the problem develops over a period of years, the onset of pain caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the onset of pain is often sudden. Some sufferers have no symptoms at night and wake up the next morning with excruciating pain. Often these people with carpal tunnel syndrome are unable to work for months. And it is not only the computer skills that suffer.
People have been typing for over 100 years, yet Carpal Tunnel Syndrome appears to be a recent phenomenon. The diagnosis is not new, and the condition is not caused by a recently evolved virus or bacterium. People's typing habits have actually changed.
What can you do to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or reduce your symptoms?
First you may wish to replace your keyboard with an ergonomic friendly model. Avoid the following hand and wrist postures - ulnar deviation where the wrist is bent outwards in the direction of the little finger, abduction - where the hands and arms are angled together in front of the body rather than at shoulder width. Avoid flexion which is the anatomical term where the wrist is bent down in such a manner where the fingers are lower than the wrist joint. Extension of the wrists and hands where the wrist is bent up and back so that the fingers are higher than the wrist joint. Finally pronation is a bad idea. Pronation refers to the anatomical term describing a forearm and hand position in which the hand is open, palm down and parallel with the flat surface of the desk or floor.
If you are involved with computer keyboard tasks for very long period of times of time here are several tips to spare your keyboarding abilities and skill levels. Try to keep your wrists straight while typing. Adjust your chair so that as you type, your elbows are at the same height as your wrists. A proper computer desk which lies at the proper height rather than an old office desk that you just happened to have lying around is an excellent idea. As well spring on a proper, adjustable ergonomically designed chair. Be sure that you rest your wrists often.
Lastly and most importantly take frequent rests and relaxation periods along your conquests.It may be important to be on par with the other players in your office. However it is false economy at the end of the game if your keyboarding skills on the fairway suffers.