Office furniture must be more just aesthetics in the workspace. They should be designed with comfort and ergonomics in mind. The right office equipment must promote health and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel is a common problem among office workers spending most of their day sitting at a computer and typing on a keyboard. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and pain in the wrists and hands and make the act of typing difficult. The fact that desk jobs require a lot of typing means it’s difficult for people to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome without ergonomic changes.
One of the causes of carpal tunnel is the result of excessive typing and repeated flexing of the wrists. It can be cured through proper medical care, making ergonomic changes to the workspace, and sometimes surgery. Some people have severe cases of carpal tunnel that they are incapable of making a living. Here’s a look at how to avoid carpal tunnel at the desk job and stay pain-free.
To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, here are some tips;
Repetitive hand motion can cause a strain on the median nerve in the wrist that results in carpal tunnel syndrome. A major symptom of carpal tunnel is tingling or numbness in your hand and arm caused by pinching of the median nerve in your hand.
● The most effective way to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel is to be conscious of the position of your wrist when typing on a keyboard.
● Keeping your wrist and forearm in a straight line opens the carpal tunnel and allows the median nerve and tendons to work correctly.
● Keep your elbows at 90º to place your wrists in a neutral position. Using this position, along with a wrist rest, helps prevent carpal tunnel.
● Avoid bending or curling your wrists while sleeping
● Keep your hands warm to prevent stiffness. If you work in a cold environment, try using fingerless gloves.
● Loosen your grip when working with your hands such as holding a pencil too tight or pounding your fingers on the keyboard.
● Take quick breaks often. It gives you a chance to rest your hands by switching their position.
● Remember to stretch your wrists, hands, and fingers frequently.
● Improve your body mechanics and posture while working at your desk.
● Try a different tool or grip. People can benefit from using a split, V-shaped keyboard. When using other equipment, try using new ways of handling the tool. Try switching hands now and then when using some tools.
● Use wrist splints. If you have carpal tunnel symptoms and have difficulty trying your wrists to stay straight, use wrist splints for temporary relief. These splints are not meant to be worn permanently. But wearing them when you are asleep can help you manage carpal tunnel syndrome in the long run.
To improve Ergonomics in the Workspace here is some advice:
1. Find the Right Position
Typing at odd angles can increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. With adjustable screens, keyboards, and office desks, it can minimize the strain. Finding the right position to type helps to keep your forearms, wrists, and hands in alignment.
2. It Helps in Avoiding Putting Pressure on the Wrong Areas
Office desks that have improper support can make you slouch and put too much pressure on the wrists and your joints. Try to sit up straight in your chair with your feet resting firmly on the ground. This helps in your work without sitting in a position that is bad for your bones, muscles, and joints.
3. Provides a Comfortable Area to Take a Break
To reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome is to take frequent breaks throughout the day. The right office ergonomics can provide lots of comfortable locations where you can go sit to a break from your desk and keyboard. Take advantage of the comfortable office furniture and just relax.
4. Improving the Office Furniture
Acquire sit-stand desks or lift desks. These offer an efficient way to accommodate users of all heights and allow them to keep their hands in a neutral position while working. The lift desk goes on top of an existing desk and removes the need to buy a new standing desk.
5. Using Ergonomic Peripherals
Ergonomic keyboards and other devices are getting popular due to their ability to reduce fatigue and adjustability. Being able to spread the keyboard to encourage a natural hand position, then “tent” each half on a preferred angle. This is an excellent way to neutralize wrist position, straighten the hands, and reduce twisting while typing. Today it’s possible for a keyboard to adjust to the user instead of the other way around.
An ergonomic mouse to the computer is useful for additional comfort. A traditional mouse flexes the user’s wrist that puts pressure on the median nerve. An ergonomic mouse puts the hand in a neutral position and at an angle that relaxes the wrist muscles. The design of an ergonomic mouse is more natural than the bent wrist hand position that the traditional mouse puts in.
6. Changing the Keypad
People who work in data entry or engage in ten-key data input can suffer CTS from using the traditional keypad on a keyboard. The position of the keypad tends to make it difficult for left-hand users to type and can make the user set aside their mouse out of the way to use the keys. A numeric keypad solves these issues through stand-alone operation and can place the keypad where it’s most comfortable for the user.
When setting up your work area, try Centering your work in front of you, as low as possible without touching your legs. If you work while standing, have your work surface at waist height.
Don't wait till you are experiencing the symptoms to take preventive measures. Be conscious of how you use your hands and equipment throughout the day, and change the way you type. Many different kinds of activity can cause carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be avoidable with the right kind of ergonomic office furniture, peripherals, and accessories. They’re a small investment when compared to the costs of doctor’s visits, medications, and treatments needed. Once CTS sets in and it will be harder to cure it.