Ergonomics is the science concerned with designing and arranging a workspace that fits within the capabilities of the person working in it.
A poor ergonomic workstation can cause repetitive strain to the hands and arms, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Since every work environment is different, it’s important to design your own ergonomic workstation that allows you to complete all necessary daily tasks effectively and comfortably.
Here are a few ways you can relieve hand and arm pain while at work on a computer:
Use a Wrist Rest
Laying wrists on the sharp edges of a desk or a laptop when typing can cause a great deal of pressure on tendons, which could, in turn, lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. To alleviate stress on the wrists, use a soft wrist rest that will provide support and comfort.
Bending the wrists or fingers up, down, or in an unnatural state when typing, will put a strain on the hands and forearms. Make sure that wrists are always in a straight, 90-degree angle or slightly higher position at all times. Also, be cognizant of your mouse grip, making sure that fingers have a natural bend.
Objects that are used often – such as writing utensils, your telephone, and paperwork – should be placed close to your body to avoid excessive strain when reaching.
A small break from typing should be taken multiple times throughout the day, especially when symptoms arise. If you are dealing with any inflammation or joint damage, you should contact your health care provider before doing any stretches.
Here are 3 easy stretches that you can do while at your desk:
- Interlace fingers and extend arms in front of you, palms facing away from your body. Do this for 10-20 seconds.
- Interlace fingers and extend arms upwards, with palms facing the ceiling. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds.
- Do a shoulder shrug by raising the top of your shoulders towards your ears for 3-5 seconds and then relax into a normal position. Do this 2-3 times.
If you are dealing with constant hand, arm, or shoulder pain, you should contact an upper extremity specialist immediately.