Do your fingers start to tingle or go numb after working at your computer for too long? If so, you could have carpal tunnel syndrome. This painful condition can affect your grip strength and make typing very uncomfortable. Modifying your workspace may be the key to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Switch from a Laptop to a Desktop
While laptops are convenient for their small size and portability, typing on one for an extended time can lead to nerve compression in your wrists and a crick in your neck. Consider buying a separate keyboard or monitor to use with your laptop or switch to a desktop computer.
Choose a Functional Desk
The ideal work surface features a rollout tray to position your keyboard at the optimal height. The surface where you set your monitor should be a few inches higher than this tray to keep the screen at eye-level. Consider investing in a sit/stand desk to keep the blood flowing to your lower extremities when working for long hours.
Sit in a Comfortable Chair
A chair with armrests can help prevent muscle tension in your arms and shoulders that could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. For the most comfortable experience, pick a chair with other ergonomic features, such as lumbar support, a headrest, and a reclining function that lets you sit in a relaxed position.
Use Ergonomic Office Products
If you hope to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, your keyboard and mouse are the most critical workspace components to address.
Ergonomic keyboards are split down the middle and angled slightly to the left and right. This might be a good choice, but it’s not your only option. A keyboard with easy-to-press keys could be just as effective at preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
The mouse you choose should rest comfortably in your palm. Try multiple options before making your purchase.
Wrist rests were all the rage a few years ago, but it turns out they may be less beneficial than originally thought. Instead of supporting the weight of your hand as intended, wrist rests put undue pressure on the underside of your wrist, which can increase symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. For this reason, typing and using your mouse with “floating wrists” may be a better option.
Maintain Healthy Workspace Habits
A modified workspace doesn’t do you any good if you don’t use it correctly. Keep carpal tunnel syndrome at bay with these tips:
- Sit with good posture.
- Position your chair and keyboard so you can type with flat wrists and elbows at about 90 degrees.
- Keep your elbow tucked near your body when using the mouse. Avoid overreaching.
- Take frequent breaks. Stand, stretch, and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
If making these changes to your workspace isn’t enough to eliminate your symptoms, you may need chiropractic treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Visit Effective Integrative Healthcare in Millersville, Crofton, or Lanham, MD for a free consultation today.