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Typing Ergonomics: Things You Wish You Knew Earlier

01 August 2023

Does your job require you to sit in front of your computer or laptop and type away all day? If yes, pain in the fingers and wrists might be an everyday complain. A job that involves sitting and typing may sound very convenient and comfortable, but in reality, it's really not. Excessive typing strains the fingers and wrists and puts you at risk of developing repetitive strain injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Not many people are aware of the fact that there's a right and wrong way of using a keyboard. You read that right. If your fingers and wrists hurt from typing all day, it's a sign that you aren't doing it right. If you were typing correctly, you wouldn't be experiencing any of the pain that you do.

If you want to make typing comfortable and less exhausting, you've got to ensure that you're following typing ergonomics right. Ensuring typing ergonomics is as important as ensuring you're working in the correct posture.

This blog post will help you understand how incorrect typing ergonomics may affect you and how you can improve typing ergonomics and make your typing job more comfortable.

Understanding Typing Ergonomics

First things first – what exactly does the term typing ergonomics mean? Well, it simply addresses the correct and comfortable position of your hands and fingers, the correct angling of your shoulders, the curvature of your spine, and your overall posture while you're using your keyboard to type. Most people would wonder what science there could be in typing. You'll be amazed to know that typing isn't as simple as it looks! Typing works your muscles and joints, and if you don't do it correctly, you may strain your fingers and wrists and develop health conditions that might affect your ability to type.

Maintaining correct typing ergonomics is crucial to ensure your health and well-being aren't at any risk. Poor typing ergonomics can result in long-term and sometimes lifelong health conditions that can affect your performance at work and your quality of life.

How Do Poor Typing Ergonomics Affect You?

How can you tell that you're practicing poor typing ergonomics? Well, it's quite easy to tell. If you've got to raise your shoulders or bend your wrists to type on your keyboard, know that you're practicing poor typing ergonomics and if you don't change that, you'll soon fall prey to numerous health conditions.

Reduced Productivity and Efficiency at Work

The first and the most prominent way in which poor typing ergonomics affect you is to cause discomfort. Sitting with your shoulders raised or your wrists bent unnaturally will feel extremely uncomfortable. And because of being in a constant state of discomfort, you'll find yourself continuously distracted. When you're distracted, you'll find it hard to focus on work, which will eventually negatively impact your productivity and efficiency. You'll also feel irritable and experience a lack of motivation to work.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Poor typing ergonomics can also result in repetitive strain injuries, which are characterized by swelling in the hands, fingers, and wrists. It can also put pressure on the nerves in these parts, which can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in the arms and hands. Continuing to type in the incorrect posture will worsen your condition and eventually reduce your grip strength, affecting your work performance and your day-to-day life.

The Correct Typing Posture

The incorrect typing posture, as you know by now, can put you at risk of serious health conditions, which, if not treated on time, can result in long-term injuries that will directly impact the quality of your life and your overall well-being.

This brings us to a very important question; what is the correct typing posture?

We've explained the ideal typing posture in detail below:

The ideal typing posture is when your keyboard is placed below your elbows when you're seated; your wrists are straight and not bent or raised.

1. Your elbows should be at a 90-to-110-degree angle to relax your shoulders and forearms.

2. The keyboard should be placed on a sloped surface such that it's sloping away from you (also referred to as negative tilt), or it should be placed flat on the desk's surface.

3. The wrists should be straight (not flexed downwards or upwards).

4. The wrists shouldn't be resting on the desk. Resting the wrists on the desk's surface puts extreme pressure on the tendons and can cut off the blood supply.

5. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor. If your chair is too high for you, you should use a foot stool.

6. If you use a wrist pad, make sure it's placed just against the keyboard, and you use it to rest your palms and not just the wrists when you take a break from typing.

Improving Typing Ergonomics

Improving typing ergonomics requires conscious and active input. You may correct your typing posture, but if you don't maintain it actively, you may unconsciously slide back into the incorrect posture. Now that you know the ideal typing posture, you may be interested to know the different ways you can improve typing ergonomics and ensure correct typing posture.

Some of the most promising ways to improve typing ergonomics are:

Use an Ergonomic Keyboard

The best way to instantly improve typing ergonomics is to switch to an ergonomic keyboard. An ergonomic keyboard is unlike your regular keyboard. One of the most distinctive features of an ergonomic keyboard is its design. The keyboard is divided into two distinctive sections, each at a different angle, to encourage the user to place their hands on the keyboard in a neutral posture. This ensures that the user doesn't have to place their hands at awkward angles during typing, which puts them at the risk of getting their tendons strained.

Moreover, the keys of an ergonomic keyboard aren't as hard as a regular keyboard. The keys are much softer, which ensures that the user doesn't have to hit the keys too hard, which could further worsen the strain on the fingers.

Invest in a Laptop Tray

If you use a laptop, ensuring proper typing ergonomics is an even bigger challenge because you can adjust the position of your keyboard like you can with an external keyboard. If your laptop is placed at a desk that's too high or too low, your keyboard will automatically be at an incorrect height too. If the keyboard is too high for you, you'll have to raise your shoulders and arms to reach the keyboard. If the keyboard is too low, you'll have to bend your wrists awkwardly.

Investing in a laptop tray is a wise thing to do if you want to ensure proper typing ergonomics. A laptop tray will help you adjust the height of your laptop to an appropriate height. You can also use a laptop tray to achieve the ideal negative tilt so that you can place your hands in a neutral posture as you type.

Use a Padded Keyboard Pad

Using a padded keyboard pad can also help reduce the strain on your wrists and make typing comfortable. With a padded keyboard pad, you won't have to rest your wrists on the hard desk's surface. Rubbing the wrists against the hard surface can worsen the strain on the wrists and increase the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Improve Your Sitting Posture

One of the biggest reasons why you fail to achieve the correct typing ergonomics is the fact that your posture is incorrect. You won't be able to achieve the ideal typing posture as long as you don't correct your sitting posture. One of the best ways to improve your posture is to invest in an ergonomic chair and desk. You can adjust the height of an ergonomic chair and desk as per your preferences to ensure that the keyboard is placed at the right height. An adjustable keyboard tray like the Clamp-on Adjustable Keyboard Tray can also do the job pretty well. As we said earlier, your keyboard should be placed just below the height of your elbows.

Closing Word

Typing ergonomics can have a profound impact on your overall well-being and performance at work. If you continue to practice poor typing ergonomics, there will come a point when typing becomes too painful for you, and you may not be able to type at all. To save yourself from the worst, it's best if you work towards correcting your typing ergonomics today! Start with correcting your posture. Once your posture is corrected, your typing ergonomics will automatically improve. Ergonomic equipment like an ergonomic keyboard, laptop tray, and padded keyboard pad will further improve typing ergonomics and make your job safer and even healthier for you!