Many people spend long hours sitting in front of a computer every day, which can be taxing on the body. This sedentary work can lead to stiffness, soreness, and even injuries, such as those in the lower back or wrist. In this post, I will provide tips on where to place the keyboard and mouse to maintain a neutral posture and prevent discomfort and injury.
Awkward postures can lead to injuries such as lower back pain or wrist strain. Maintaining a neutral posture is crucial to prevent such injuries.
One aspect of neutral posture is arm position. The arms should be close to the sides, with the elbows bent at about 90° and the forearms parallel to the floor. The keyboard should be at elbow level or just slightly below to avoid flexing the elbows or wrists. Keeping the keyboard close to the body also helps prevent reaching forward while typing.
The mouse should be at the same level as the keyboard, and a vertical mouse can promote a neutral wrist position. Tilt adjustments on the keyboard can help with wrist comfort and prevent strain.
Depending on the user's anatomy and office setup, adjusting the keyboard's tilt may also be necessary. Most keyboards have little feet on the underside that can be adjusted to tilt the keyboard. This small adjustment can help straighten the wrist out and prevent discomfort.
In addition to maintaining proper arm position, it is important to take breaks and stretch. Tightness in the forearm muscles can lead to wrist tendinitis, carpal tunnel, and tennis elbow.
One recommended stretch is to punch the arm out in front, make a fist, and rotate the fist down towards the ground. Hold for a count of 20, and then flip the hand over and hold for another count of 20.
Overall, making small adjustments to arm position, keyboard and mouse placement, and taking breaks to stretch can help prevent discomfort and injuries when working in front of a computer.
for a full video discussing this in-depth and a demonstration of the above-mentioned stretch, please visit my YouTube video: