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How to Prevent Common Computer Injuries

Updated on June 26, 2009

Just as carpenters put a lot of strain on their back, boxers suffer head injuries and tennis players suffer from elbow problems, working at the office 8 hours a day, five days a week can produce its own set of problems. The main issues start when you type 50 words a minute for those whole 8 hours a day five days a week putting a lot of strain on your fingers, arms and wrists.

When all these body parts work together for great amounts of time, they are put under pressure, significantly increasing the risks for a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome arises when the nerve running from the forearm to the hand becomes compressed causing tingling sensations, pain, weakness and numbness in the hand and wrist. This compression is due to the irritated tendons which swell causing the median nerve to be compressed.

There are several ways to prevent carpal syndrome in the office, following are some guidelines that may prevent common computer injuries:

-Ensure that the keyboard is lower than the elbows and the wrists slightly higher than the fingers.

-Slightly touch the keybord lightly instead of pressing on the keys.

-Take at least a five minute break for every hour.

-Rotate your wrists when you can to release some tension

-Invest in a wrist rest device so to allow your wrists to remain straight.

-Invest in an ergonomic keyboard 

Carpal syndrome is only one of the many conditions that may be encountered at the office. Eye strain, back and neck strain are other common problems that can be avoided if certain precautions are taken. 

For instance,  staring at a bright monitor all day may cause headaches and eye strain. This can be avoided by  using add-on screen filters. Eyeglasses are generally preferred versus contact lenses in the long run because contacts may be more likely to produce eye strain.

Back and neck strain may be reduced by learning how to sit straight with relaxed shoulders. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle with your neck, back and waist in a straight position. 

It can never be emphasized enough the importance for workplaces to provide comfortable chairs, keyboards desks and lights. Working at the office may look like a light duty job when compared to other heavier jobs such as construction work, but the end results may ultimately be similar after years spent in a wrong posdition putting uinnecessary strain on important nerves, muscles and ligaments

Some helpful devices

Fellowes Gel Flex Transparent Mini Wrist Rest (Blue Crystal)
Fellowes Gel Flex Transparent Mini Wrist Rest (Blue Crystal)

Gel Crystal Flex Rest is perfect for smaller workstations and travel. The gel cushion conforms to your wrist to alleviate pressure while working with your computer.



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