Take the pain out of writing with ergonomics

hand pain

26th July 2017

3 Minutes

Office workers in the UK can spend over five hours a day sitting at their desk. This can have a negative effect on our physical health. Whilst steps may have been taken to help, like making desks ergonomically sound, our wrists and hands can often be areas we neglect.

Typing away on a keyboard for hours, or sitting in a meeting jotting down notes without the correct support can lead to both hand and wrist pain. If not properly attended to, further problems like carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury (RSI) may develop.

We’ve put together some ways in which you can help reduce any ache and pains that may occur from long stints of typing and writing.

How to ease wrist pain when typing

Pain in the wrist can be problematic when it comes to working, as the constant strain can make it difficult to type or write effectively. However, there are some changes you can make to how you position your arms and hands which may help to ease discomfort.

You should always try to keep your wrists in line with your forearms and not bend them up while typing. Also try to avoid hovering over the keys – this puts unnecessary strain on your wrists. To help avoid sore fingers, try to avoid pressing on your keyboard keys too forcefully.

gel support can provide some relief when working – simply place it in front of your keyboard. An ergonomic keyboard encourages the natural positioning of your wrists, so you can type comfortably. You could also use a sloped desk when writing, or a laptop or computer stand as it can allow for a better shoulder and elbow position for writing.

Am I holding my pen correctly?

If you write excessively by hand, writing cramp can become an issue. This can be because of a number of reasons, such as poor writing posture or not holding your pen correctly. Gripping a pen too tightly can also cause wrist pain or sore fingers, so learning (or re-learning) how to hold your pen will be beneficial.

Always choose a pen which feels comfortable to you and writes smoothly. Don’t hold the pen too hard, and allow the whole of your arm to write – not just your fingers. Your hand should be straight and the paper should always be a comfortable distance in front of you, meaning you don’t need to strain or lean in, in any way. Make sure your whole desk is ergonomically optimised – whether you’re working at a standing desk or a sitting desk. A specially designed ergonomic pen or pencil can help provide some relief when handwriting for a substantial amount of time.

What stretches can I do to help ease pain in wrist and fingers?

If you’ve been typing or writing for a while, try doing a few simple exercises which help stretch out your hands and wrists. Shake out your hands and rotate your wrists. This can help keep the blood flowing and avoid cramping.

By making small changes to how you write and type and re-learning techniques like how to hold a pen, you can help yourself to avoid any unnecessary strain or uncomfortable aches. It’s also important to make sure the rest of your body is stretched out – read our guide to office ailments and ergonomic solutions to help prevent any other ailments becoming a more serious issue.

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