Your first day on the job – the first time you are sitting down at the computer you will spend a good part of your life staring at. Did anybody tell you that you might be courting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, though? Every job, no matter how safe it seems, has its risks, even desk jobs. However, there are some things you can do to minimize your risks.
- Get the right chair. You might not have much choice there, of course, but on most office chairs, the height can be adjusted. Get the height right. You ought to be able to keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at right angle.
- Make sure your computer keyboard is at the right height. When you sit down comfortably and settle down to type, your forearms must be parallel to the floor. That is, the keyboard must be at about the same level as your elbow.
- Once you have settled down, double check. When you use the keyboard, do you have to flex your wrists? If you do, you have to adjust the heights again.
- Make sure your back has the right support. This will help you maintain a good posture. If your back is not straight, your shoulders will droop. If your shoulders droop, your lower arm and wrist will be affected, and you might have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome before you know what’s happening to you.
- Your monitor must be placed so that you don’t have to bend your neck all the time to look at it. You should be able to see the monitor fine when you look straight.
- Use a supported mouse pad. Using the mouse, with all the clicks and double clicks, can be quite hard on the wrists. Using a supported mouse pad can keep away Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When you use a mouse pad, the tendons in your carpel tunnel will not be under severe strain, and thus will not compress your median nerve, which is how you get CTS in the first place.
- Even after you take car of all of those details, take frequent breaks. Every fifteen to twenty minutes, take a break and do some gentle stretches. Walk around a bit if you can, but even if you can’t, something as simple as stretching one arm horizontally across your chest while pulling it towards your chest with your other arm can help you keep your muscles loose and thus keep away Repetitive Strain Injuries like CTS.
- Most work places with computers have the temperature turned down fairly low. This can be hard on your wrists, but wearing fingerless gloves is a good way to counter this.
- If you feel that you might be experiencing any numbness or tingling in your palm, consult your doctor immediately. Something as simple as wearing a splint or a wrist brace can take care of it if you realize it this early.
All jobs include repetitive tasks. This means that everybody could be at risk for CTS. This is something that can be prevented quite easily if you pay proper attention to certain elementary forms of safety at work – just as easily as it could take your self-reliance away from you if you don’t take these measures.