To minimize the risk of developing discomfort or pain in your neck, shoulders, forearms, and wrists while using your wireless keyboard, it's essential to ensure proper positioning. Here are some guidelines to help you achieve a more ergonomic setup:
1. Shoulder and Elbow Position: When typing, maintain relaxed shoulders and ensure your elbows are at a comfortable 90-100-degree angle. If necessary, adjust your chair height to achieve this posture.
2. Document Placement: Pay attention to the placement of paper documents on your desk, especially for tasks like data entry. Positioning documents to the side or flat on the desk can force you to twist your upper body and repeatedly bend your neck forward or to the side. Always use a document holder to secure your documents. Place it in line with your body, between your keyboard and monitor, so you don't need to twist your neck to view them. If you're not proficient in touch-typing, consider practicing, as touch typists tend to look down at the keyboard less frequently, reducing the risk of neck pain.
3. Keyboard Position: Position your keyboard approximately 6-7cm away from the edge of the desk, providing enough space in front of the keyboard for resting your forearms on the desk or a wrist support. This may require you to move your monitor further back to accommodate the keyboard in the correct position, which is optimal for minimizing hand pain.
4. Wrist Alignment: Achieve a neutral wrist alignment, keeping your wrists flat and in line with your forearms. Ensure that your keyboard is flat against the desk by folding down its feet. This promotes neutral wrist alignment and reduces wrist extension during typing. If achieving neutral wrist alignment is challenging, consider using a slim keyboard or an ergonomic keyboard. Ergonomic keyboards, with their shorter height or slight curve, are designed to promote neutral wrist alignment and eliminate wrist deviation commonly associated with traditional keyboards.
5. Take Regular Breaks: Ideally, take a break from typing for at least 5 to 10 minutes every hour. Use this time to engage in different tasks, such as stretching, moving out of your chair, or organizing. If you tend to get absorbed in your work and forget to take breaks, consider using a computer program that acts as a timer and reminder to prompt you to pause and stretch. Numerous free stretch break software options are available online.
Maintaining "Neutral Wrist Alignment" can significantly reduce discomfort and pain in your wrists and forearms. This position ensures that your wrists align straight with your forearms. The diagrams below illustrate both correct and incorrect wrist postures that can occur when using a computer keyboard.