Sometimes it’s not how fast you type that matters, but how quickly your typing makes your wrists, shoulder, neck, and back feel like you’ve been there for hours. The physical aspect of typing is a key factor in improving your overall typing skills, which is why this blog and the Typesy software system focus on ergonomics as well as typing speed and accuracy. Author Suzanne Gerber spends a lot of time at the keyboard, and when that was leading to serious physical problems, she found out that she had a lot to learn about ergonomics. She described her experience in an article on the PBS blog “NextAvenue” about getting an evaluation of her typing posture, and what it taught her about the importance of the position of your keyboard, monitor, and body when typing. Here are three of her top tips for good typing posture, and better overall keyboard health:
Make sure that the keyboard is placed low enough that your shoulders are in a natural position. If you have to raise or hunch your shoulders to get your arms at the right height, then the keyboard is too high.
Keep your fingernails short so that your hands and fingers can remain in a natural curve. If your fingernails are too long, you’ll flatten and extend your fingers, and that will affect the way your muscles move (and probably contribute to typos).
If you use a laptop, invest in a separate keyboard – perhaps even a good ergonomic one – so that you can keep the screen at the right height for your eyes without compromising the position of your arms and hands on the keyboard.
Even the best typists know that there’s always room for improvement. The time you spend in figuring out what you can change to decrease any physical issues related to typing will increase the overall time you can spend at the keyboard, and that will pay off in the long run. To help get you started, check out these posts and get more information on:
– ergonomic keyboards
– chairs to help you sit in the right position
– how to organize your desk
– your posture at the keyboard
– ways to relax your muscles
Read all about Gerber’s experiences with ergonomics here.