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: 80

Take our poll!

Take our poll!

Latest Activity

Mark Nilson posted an event

Guidelines for Performing a Vendor Audit with an emphasis on Construction Audit at Training Doyens 26468 E Walker Dr,Aurora, Colorado

April 3, 2018 from 1pm to 2:30pm
OVERVIEWVendor/Contract audits require a certain skill set to understand the terms and conditions of a contract between a Company and any given vendor where products or services are outsourced.  Understanding the risks that are inherent within them is the first step in developing audit objectives and steps. The primary focus of the audit is the vendor (third party) activities pertinent to a contract. A majority of the fieldwork on these types of audits will likely be performed at the Vendor’s…See More
14 hours ago
gracylayla posted an event

How to begin your career in IBM API Connect? at 4608 Spalding, plano TX 75024 United States

February 19, 2018 to February 19, 2019
IBM API Connect is a complete API lifecycle management solution that will make things easier for developers, Central IT, and LoB Management. The thought behind API Connect is that APIs are small data applications, often called microservices, but they are applications nonetheless.IBM API Management with a built-in gateway, allowing you to create, run, manage, and secure APIs and Microservices. API Connect is the first of its kind: a unified end-to-end API management solution that enables the…See More
14 hours ago
John Robinson posted a blog post

Risk Management in the Global Economy and outlook for 2017

Risk management in the global economy is a highly challenging field for risk managers from any part of the world. With most of the world’s countries almost becoming part of the global economy in this era of globalization; it is emerging that risks that apply to one part any one nation’s or group of…See More
16 hours ago
Training Doyens posted an event
Thumbnail

Hot Issues in Multi-State & Internet Sales Tax at 26468 E Walker Dr, Aurora, Colorado 80016-6104

March 13, 2018 from 1pm to 2pm
OVERVIEWStates are tense. They need more revenue.Millions of dollars of internet sales occur daily without tax.  The states want their money. In just 90 minutes, learn the different ways your company triggers nexus on itself and what it must do to comply with state regulations.WHY SHOULD YOU ATTENDWill I owe taxes in more than one state for the same sale? Must I charge tax on my internet sales?  Why is my drop shipper charging me tax?  Why did I receive a NEXUS Questionnaire and what if I don’t…See More
16 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