Just as important as the position of your fingers on a computer keyboard is the position of your body while typing. In other words, you will need to sit up straight if you’ve started to slouch. You’ll need to move your eyes away from your keys if you’ve been looking at them more than you should. Get into the habit of assuming the correct position throughout your touch typing sessions. Doing so will improve speed and accuracy, reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems, and help you become a better touch typist.
Run over your mental position checklist at the beginning of a typing session, or any time you’re feeling physical stress. Make sure your head is erect, not tilted downward, upward, backward, or forward. Your shoulders should be relaxed, elbows close to the body, wrists flat, and fingers curved naturally. Your feet should be uncrossed and flat against the floor or foot rest. Your eyes must not be looking down at your keyboard.
Here are seven points to keep in mind while you’re practicing your typing lessons:
1. Strive to maintain proper posture while touch typing.
2. Touch typing is a skill that relies on memory recall. Saying the actual letter as you strike the key can strengthen the finger-key relationship and make it easier to recall from memory.
3. Keep your eyes on the screen in front of you. If you look at your fingers and the keyboard, you’ll get a sore neck and develop a bad habit.
4. Take frequent brief breaks. Get up and walk around. Or stretch your arms, legs, wrists, and fingers while at your desk. Also remember once an hour to refocus your eyes onto an object fifteen to twenty feet in the distance to give your eyes a break from the monitor.
5. Check that ambient lighting is not too bright or too dark. It should be just right. Make sure that there is no glare on your screen, and that it’s easy to see.
6. Always keep your hands in position on the keyboard as much as possible so that you gain the physical memory of how the keyboard letters feel under your fingers.
7. Don’t rush! Learning to touch type takes time, so slow down. It takes effort, too, so set aside ample time to practice your lessons. But don’t overdo it. If you tire or feel pain in your eyes, back, or other body part, you’ll just make mistakes and get frustrated. That’s when it’s better to stop until you’re rested and feeling better. You’ll be glad you did!