Your wireless keyboard needs to be positioned correctly in order to minimize the risk of developing neck, shoulder, forearm and wrist pain. When typing, your shoulders should be relaxed and your elbows at a 90-100 degree angle. If not, you may need to adjust your chair height in order to achieve this posture.
Also, be aware of the position of paper copies on your desk (i.e. for data entry). Documents positioned to the side or flat on the desk can cause you to twist your upper body and repetitively flex your neck forward or to the side. Always use a document holder to secure your documents. The document holder should be positioned in- line with your body between your keyboard and monitor, so there is no need to twist your neck to look to the side of the monitor. If you are not proficient in touch-typing, you should consider practicing this skill. As touch typists look down at the keyboard less frequently than those with poor typing skills. This may be the root cause for your constant neck pain.
Position your keyboard approximately 6-7cm away from the edge of the desk, to enable enough desk space in front of the keyboard so that you can rest your forearms on the desk or a wrist support. This may require you to move your monitor further back in order to accommodate the keyboard in the correct position. This is the optimal distance for your keyboard for hand pain.
The best work posture for typing on a standard keyboard is to have your wrists in a neutral alignment (flat), with the hands in line with the forearms. Try placing the feet on your keyboard down so that it is flat against the desk. This will help to promote a neutral wrist alignment and reduce any wrist extension you may have when typing. If you are unable to get your wrist into a neutral wrist alignment, you may require a slim keyboard or an ergonomic keyboard. A good ergonomic keyboard promotes neutral wrist alignment due to its short height whereas an ergonomic keyboard contains a slight curve. This curve helps to eliminate the deviation at the wrist that some people have when they use traditional keyboards.
Ideally, you should take a break from typing for at least 5 to 10 minutes every 60 minutes. This might mean diverting yourself to other task (i.e. moving out of your chair, doing stretches, or filing). If you are the type of person who gets completely engrossed in their work and can’t remember to move regularly, consider downloading a program onto your computer which can act as a timer/reminder to get up and move. Such programs will alert you with a pop-up reminder when you need to stop typing and take a stretch break. There is a heap of free stretch break software on the internet to choose from.
Keeping your wrist in “Neutral Wrist Alignment” can help to reduce aches and pains in your wrist and forearms. The neutral position of the wrist is that position where the wrist is in straight alignment with the forearm. The diagrams below highlight both the correct and incorrect wrist postures that can occur when using a computer keyboard.