With the explosion of work-from-home, there is a few things that many of us may not realize that we lost. For one, most of us are working longer than normal as our work-life balance has begun to bleed together. This, combined with the loss of our ergonomic workplace equipment, could lead to carpel tunnel syndrome later in life. But, this post will, hopefully, help our readers avoid this common workplace injury.
Carpel tunnel syndrome, generally
Prior to this work-from-home explosion, we were already chained to our work computers, endlessly typing away for hours upon hours. This, intern, led to aches and pains in our joins from sitting and typing all day. Our wrists and fingers were (and are) especially at risk for carpel tunnel syndrome, which is a repetitive stress injury. In brief, carpel tunnel syndrome has always been a problem, but it is one that workplaces are, for the most part, cognizant of, and have purchased ergonomic equipment and instituted best practices to help mitigate these negative bodily impacts.
Keep those wrists up!
Step one, keep wrists elevated and off desks while typing. This will help lessen the swelling and irritation in one’s hands. Keep a neutral hand position, parallel to the keyboard.
Do not live on the computer
Take a break. Do not be on the computer for longer than 20-minute, and take frequent breaks. Stretch. Take five minutes to go to the kitchen to refill or make that cup of coffee. It will keep the brain awake and the body healthier. Indeed, there is an entire industry of phone and computer applications that are designed to remind us to take breaks. These programs often even give us stretching ideas, and many times, they are free.
Pick up that ergonomic equipment from the office. If access is not allowed, ask for ergonomic equipment to be shipped. This includes chairs, desks, keyboards, etc. However, even just a wrist cushion could help.
Get a new keyboard
If a North Andover, Massachusetts, metro area employer will not pay or send a new keyboard. Get a Microsoft “Natural” keyboard, or some similar wavy keyboard. They may look weird, but our later-in-life self will thank us.