As computers and typing have taken over the world, so has a rise in computer overuse injuries like carpal tunnel. If you are going to be doing a lot of typing in your life, in school, at home, or at work, it is important to learn what the best touch typing ergonomics are so you can prevent injuries from typing.
Wrists and Fingers
Your wrists and fingers will take the brunt of your efforts while you are touch typing. If you are typing for hours, you could find yourself cramping. Make sure you are typing on the right keyboard and with the right mouse. If you work in a corporate setting, your company might have special ergonomic keyboards and mice available for you to use that will put less strain on your hands and fingers than normal equipment. At a minimum, make sure you are taking frequent breaks and mixing in some tasks that do not require typing, like a phone call or a meeting.
Eyes should be looking at the top of your screen
You want your monitor and chair to be set up so the top of your screen lines up with your eyes. This puts the least amount of strain on your eyes, neck, and shoulders. If it is not at the right height, you will find yourself hunched over, which is going to injure your neck and shoulders. You also want to minimize glare.
You want your wrists, elbows, and keyboard to be on the same plane, forming a 90-degree angle with your upper arms.
Sit the right distance away from the Monitor
Make sure you do not set your chair height up so that you are sitting right on top of your monitor. Being the right distance away from your screen will help your eyes, neck, hands, shoulders, and basically will have you feeling better.
Typically you want to sit between 20 and 40 inches away from your monitor, and that varies depending on your height and the size of the monitor you are working with.
Do not forget to Stretch your Legs
At a minimum, you should at least periodically get up and walk around the office. You need to keep blood flowing and circulating throughout your body. Make sure you are getting up and walking around at least once an hour, preferably more.
You might want to consider getting a standing desk, or a flexible desk that you can either sit or stand at. You will find your joints and body are happier if you spend less time sitting.
Some Stretches to Incorporate
You could get in the habit of regularly stretching your muscles that are used when you type a lot. Try by stretching your wrists and fingers before you get into a long period of touch typing.
To stretch your wrists, this is a really simple stretch you can do. Simply hold your arms out in front of you, spread your fingers out as far as you can, and hold for five seconds. Relax for 30 seconds, and repeat that process three times. There are a lot of easy stretches you can do right at your desk to encourage blood flow, and some of them really are not that hard to do!
When you are thinking or the right ergonomics while you are touch typing, it might be natural to focus on your wrists and hands as it feels like they take the brunt of the exertion. Wrists and hand exercises are important and you absolutely should do them. But, do not forget to sit up straight, make sure your monitor is at the right height, and do some exercises to get the blood flowing to your legs regularly.
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