Online Safety Community

Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at the Keyboard
Many more people use computers than they did just ten years ago. A bi-product of this computer revolution has been an increased occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS. Continued, repetitive movements such as using a keyboard can damage the tendons that run from the hands to the forearms. If not dealt with properly, this damage progresses and causes extensive pain and limited hand use.
Within the hand and wrist there is a collection of bones, tendons and nerves. This area is tunnel-shaped and not very roomy. If you flex your hand over and over again, as you do when you type, you cause these tendons in your wrists to rub against each other, leading to irritation. The irritation results in swelling, and those swollen tendons then press against what is called the median nerve, causing tingling, numbness and eventually significant pain.
Causes of CTS
Several factors can lead to CTS:
* Genetics - The smaller amount of natural lubrication you have in those tendons, the greater you are at risk.
* Health/Lifestyle - Individuals with conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hormonal changes (pregnancy or menopause), a high stress lifestyle, or alcoholism are prone to CTS.
* Repetitive Motion - Repeated hand and finger flexing causes irritation.
* Trauma - Damage to hands or wrists can cause swelling of the tendons.
Preventing CTS
While you can't change your genetics, there are several ways to prevent CTS. By monitoring your body positions and what activities you are doing with your hands, you can function somewhat normally if CTS is already present. But most importantly, you need to learn what proper ergonomics (work place design) and work habits can do to live free of CTS:
* Chairs - Wheeled, adjustable height chairs with armrests are ideal.
* Tables - Choose a table or desk height that allows your arm to sit at a 90-degree angle to your body. 27 to 29 inches above the floor is recommended.
* Wrist angle - Adjust your keyboard height, or use wrist rest, so wrists are aligned with forearms while working. Consider changing your style of keyboard, using a track ball or a different mouse if you cannot achieve this position otherwise.
* Elbow angle - Raise your seat height if your arm angle is less than 90 degrees. Lower it if it is more than 90 degrees.
* Waist angle - Your waist should be 90 degrees to your legs when seated. If it is less, raise chair height. If the angle is greater, lower the chair height.
* Feet - Feet should touch the floor. Use a footrest or different chair if this is not the case.
* Work habits - Take a short break every 10-15 minutes. Vary your tasks as much as possible.
* Stretching - Strengthen and stretch your hands often.
o Clench your fists, hold, then spread your fingers out and hold. Repeat.
o With outstretched arms, repeatedly raise and lower your hands.
o Rotate your wrists repeatedly.
* Diet - Include vitamin B6 in your diet.
Although cases of CTS have increased as office jobs increase, extensive keyboard use does not have to lead to CTS. It's amazing how creating safe work areas can make such a difference. CTS is a serious condition, but fortunately it is preventable.

Views: 81

Take our poll!

Take our poll!

Latest Activity

Adam Fleaming posted a blog post

Rebooting Life science industry with Digital (Technology)

Digital technology has been driving change throughout the life science industry for years, however the sector is currently standing on the precipice of revolutionary development – some organizations have already taken the jump towards a more digital future.Data collection and visualization for decision making to improve the overall performance of themanufacturing supply chain is a huge opportunity for the life science industry, however it’s not about being new – it’s about using proven…See More
2 hours ago
Training Doyens posted events
3 hours ago
Mark Nilson posted events
4 hours ago
Tytti posted a blog post

Aviation Safety – lightning protection and other lessons from the forerunner in safety

The first ever scheduled commercial air passenger flight took place in 1914 in the US. The flight was 23 minutes long and flew the distance from St. Petersburg to Tampa. Only one seat was available in this aircraft, and it was auctioned for $400 USD (over $5,000 today). Since then the aviation industry has come leaps and bounds, especially in terms of technology and safety, for which it is often held up as a leading example.Today, aviation is considered as one of the safest modes of…See More
22 hours ago

Discussion Forum

The High Incidence of MSDs

A recent study shows that most companies attribute the high incidence of MSDs to:Reduction of other types of injuries. As a result of programs focused on reducing and eliminating mechanical,…Continue

Tags: msd, safety, workplace, ergonomics

Started by Jay D. Rohman Dec 28, 2015.

Ring Scanners - Ergonomics Question

A member of my association is looking to purchase ring scanners for an inventory system. She am concerned with the ergonomics of some of the heavier wrist units and wondering if anyone has any…Continue

Started by Cory Zielke Jul 17, 2012.

Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at the Keyboard

Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at the KeyboardMany more people use computers than they did just ten years ago. A bi-product of this computer revolution has been an increased occurrence of carpal…Continue

Started by Ken Oswald Jul 6, 2012.

Ergonomic Tips for your workstation

Ergonomic Tips: Workstation1. Adjust your chair and other workstation components every time you sit down.2. A study was done indicating that more controls on an ergonomic chair meant longer time to…Continue

Started by Ken Oswald May 11, 2012.

Ergonomic Tips for the Office Worker

Ergonomic Tips: Tidbits for Office Workers1. What are the ergonomic risk factors that you should be aware of when you evaluate your job and how you do it? They are Repetition, Force, Posture,…Continue

Started by Ken Oswald May 11, 2012.

Badge

Loading…

© 2018   Created by Safety Community.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service