Hand and Wrist Health – Keyboards and Mouse

combine-161x300_mediumHuman hands are unique and one of our greatest assets. Can you imagine not being able to work with your hands? Unchecked, signs and symptoms of wrist discomfort can progress to severe pain that impacts every part of your life.

Common signs and symptoms in the hand include discomfort, stiffness, numbness, tingling, redness, and weakness.

Some of the most common reasons that we develop problems with our wrists and hands are:

  • Wrists bent upwards or to the side when typing
  • Using repetitive sideways wrist movements with the wrist bent backward when using the mouse (awkward postures)
  • Using our wrist as an anchor point, resting it down on a hard surface when using the mouse or keyboard (contact stress)
  • Overloading of one hand (and arm). For example, accountants, graphics designers and CAD technicians do over 80% of their work with their right hand (extremely high number pad and mouse use).
  • Using the keyboard or mouse with awkward postures of the fingers (e.g. see the picture on the bottom right).
  • Working with the thumbs bent backward and with the pinkie fingers raised are more common than you may think
  • Not giving our wrists and hands time to rest throughout the day
  • It can be difficult to modify the work that we do in our job. However, we can control when we take breaks, when we alternate between desk work and other work and our posture throughout the day.

Take a look at our ‘Microbreak’ guide to get a few suggestions on how to give your hands a break.