Does your job involve a lot of typing? Whether you work in an office or any other indoor space, you may be required to type. Excessive typing, of course, can leave you susceptible to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), one of the most common being carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of MSD that's caused by repetitive wrist motions. Even if your job involves daily typing, though, you can protect yourself from carpal tunnel syndrome in several ways.
#1) Stretch Your Hands
Something as simple as stretching your hands can lower your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Stretching will loosen the joints in your fingers and wrists so that they are more relaxed. In turn, you'll be able to type for a longer period without experiencing pain or inflammation in your hands -- something that could otherwise lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Before typing, take a few minutes to stretch your hands.
#2) Perform Soft Key Strikes
When performing key strikes, avoid using an excessive amount of force. You don't need to forcefully mash the keys on your keyboard; you can type by performing soft key strikes with less force. Soft key strikes aren't as taxing on your fingers and wrists. They'll expose your hands to less resistance, thus protecting you from MSDs like carpal tunnel syndrome.
#3) Use a Keyboard Tray
You should consider using a keyboard tray when typing. Keyboard trays are surface attachments for computer desks. They typically sit lower than the desk's main surface. With a keyboard tray, you'll have a place on which to rest your forearms. Instead of holding up your forearms while you type, you can place them on the keyboard tray where your keyboard is located. Using a keyboard tray will lower your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome by offering a surface for your forearms.
#4) Take Typing Breaks
Taking breaks from typing will lower your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome as well. Like many MSDs, carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by repetitive motions. The longer you type, the more stress your hands and wrists will be exposed to. By taking a break every half-hour or so, your hands and wrists will have an opportunity to recuperate.
#5) Maintain a Neutral Wrist Position
Maintaining a neutral position with your wrists can provide a more natural typing experience that simultaneously lowers your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. A neutral wrist position means that your wrists should be straight. With a neutral wrist position, your wrists won't be overstretched to the point where they hurt.