TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR DISCOMFORTS

  • Lower back
    • Check monitor placement Forward sitting?
  • Neck
    • Check monitor height and distance
    • Hard copy documents– document stand?
    • Need a headset?
  • Neck/shoulders
    • Check desktop/keyboard tray height
    • Sitting close enough?
    • Reaching for frequently used documents?
  • Wrists/forearms
    • Check desktop/keyboard tray height
    • Positive tilt on keyboard or tray?
    • Planting wrists?
    • Contact stress?
    • Palm support for mouse?
  • Hands/fingers/wrists
    • Gripping mouse?
    • Overuse of scroll wheel?
    • Planting wrists?

BE ALERT TO SIGNS OF DISCOMFORT

If at any time during or after computer use you feel pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, or back, or if you have any reason to believe that you might be experiencing discomfort as a result of typing or from use of the mouse, you should contact your supervisor or the appropriate company contact to arrange an ergonomic assessment.

Whether you spend five minutes or five hours using your keyboard, mouse, or trackball these suggestions can help you stay comfortable and productive.

PRACTICE GOOD WORK HABITS

  • Take frequent short breaks. Get up and walk around or stretch at least once every hour.
  • Vary your tasks throughout the day. Do something different with your hands and arms for a while.
  • Use a light touch on the keyboard , mouse or trackball.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible.
  • Use software features to customize your mouse or trackball to help reduce stress to your arm, wrist, or hand by minimizing repetitive or awkward motions.

WOKSTATION SET UP

Make Sure that your workspace is set up properly

Your keyboard and monitor should be directly in front of you with your mouse or trackball next to the keyboard. Place your mouse or trackball within easy reach so that your elbow can remain next to your side when using them.

DO:

  • Adjust the height of your chair so the keyboard, mouse, or trackball at or slightly below elbow height.
  • Have your feet well supported and your shoulders relaxed when seated. Use a footrest if needed.
  • Keep the mouse as close to the side of the keyboard as possible to minimize reaching.
  • Place frequently used items and tools within an arm’s reach.
  • Adjust the height and distance of the monitor so you may sit back in your chair and have your eyes naturally focus on the top 1/3 of the screen.
  • Place documents you reference while typing in line with the monitor to reduce frequent head turning and neck bending. You may request a document holder if needed.

TECHNIQUE

Keep your shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands relaxed and comfortable as you work

Let your arms hang loosely at your sides for a moment, allowing them to dangle towards the floor and to become relaxed. Try to maintain this relaxed feeling while you work.

DO:

  • Keep your wrists neutral during mousing and typing tasks.
  • Use a wrist rest or a palm rest only between keying tasks, not while typing. Using it while typing may increase the pressure against the wrist and increase the chance of injury.
  • When you use your keyboard, mouse, or trackball, avoid placing or supporting your wrists on sharp edges or on the desktop.
  • As you use your keyboard, mouse, or trackball, make sure that your elbow is next to your side. Keep you wrist relaxed and straight – don’t bend it up, down, or to either side. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do not hunch or shrug.