For coders, writers, and PC gamers, typing is a major part of your life. If you can’t earn a living or enjoy your favorite hobby without pain, that’s a major detriment to your quality of life.
If you experience arm and wrist soreness from typing, you’re not the only one. According to The Washington Post, at least 80 percent of people whose work involves heavy computer use experience aches and pains as a direct result.
The good news is that soreness from typing is often preventable if you simply adhere to a few basic guidelines for ergonomics and how you treat your body. There are also some life-changing products out there that can provide you with effective relief when soreness flares up.
Alleviate your typing pain with these simple, actionable strategies.
Prepare for Flareups with a CBD Freeze Roller
Even if you follow the very best practices for pain-free typing, it’s possible that you’ll still experience occasional flareups because of a past injury or because you’re genetically predisposed to developing a condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
When you experience arm and wrist soreness from typing, try applying a CBD roll on to the affected area. In addition to natural hemp-derived CBD, a CBD freeze roller contains ingredients such as menthol, camphor, aloe vera, and arnica that can cool and soothe the area on contact.
Finding the perfect typing position and set-up for you can be a lengthy process. Have a CBD freeze roller at the ready to roll on so you can type on if you experience any pain or inflammation along the way.
Get the Right Keyboard
One of the reasons why people experience soreness from typing is because they’re not using the right equipment for their hands.
Most keyboards use the membrane style. In a membrane keyboard, pushing a key causes layers of a membrane to make contact, sending a signal that registers the keypress. Membrane keyboards are thin, light, and inexpensive – but they aren’t necessarily the best keyboards for pain-free typing.
Consider switching to a keyboard with mechanical switches. One of the biggest problems with membrane keyboards is that the keys tend to feel “mushy” when pressed, and that causes people to type with much greater force than what’s actually required. A mechanical keyboard, on the other hand, produces a distinct “click” when keys are pressed. You may find that the tactile and sonic feedback helps you train yourself to type with less force. An additional benefit is that mechanical keyboards tend to help fast typists type even more accurately.
Don’t simply buy a keyboard because the manufacturer calls it “ergonomic.” There are no real standards for what constitutes an ergonomic keyboard. The only thing that matters is whether a keyboard is comfortable for you.
Assume the Correct Posture for Pain-Free Typing
If you want to type without pain, you need to sit and position your arms and hands in a way that allows for maximum circulation and doesn’t cause unnecessary strain.
- Begin with the correct seating position. Your chair should be at a height that allows you to put your feet flat on the floor.
- Allow your arms to rest on your chair’s armrests with your elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Your hands should be able to reach the keyboard from this position. If you can’t reach the keyboard without raising your shoulders up toward your ears, your chair probably isn’t right for your needs.
- Hold your wrists straight and try to minimize bending them when typing. If your elbows are at 90-degree angles and your wrists are straight, you should be able to touch the keyboard simply by bending your fingers.
- Trim your fingernails. Long fingernails make it difficult for you to position your hands and wrists correctly for pain-free typing.
Use the Right Office Furniture for Ergonomic Typing
If the office furniture that you’re currently using isn’t right for pain-free typing, you probably tried to follow the tips above and found that you were unable to do so because the keyboard was too high. It’s best for ergonomics if the top of your monitor is approximately at eye level because that allows you to see everything on the screen without bending your neck.
The problem, though, is that if your desk has a good height for ergonomic monitor placement, your keyboard is probably too high. You can solve that by installing a keyboard tray under the desk or by buying a new desk with a keyboard tray.
A good office chair is one of the best investments you can make if your job involves a lot of heavy typing. In order to follow the advice we’ve given in this article – keeping your feet flat on the floor and your elbows bent at 90-degree angles – you’ll probably need a chair with adjustable height and adjustable armrests.
It’s also wise to purchase a chair with lumbar support. You should be able to sit straight up – supporting your weight against the back of the chair – without pain and without struggling to reach the keyboard.
Keep Your Wrists Limber with Frequent Stretches
During long days of typing, it’s a good idea to stretch your wrists frequently to maintain good blood flow and flexibility. Start by standing up and holding your arms straight out with your palms facing down. Allow your wrists to slowly go limp. Let your wrists bend downward for a few seconds, and then bend them toward the ceiling until you can feel a stretching sensation. Repeat this sequence several times.
Continue with some exercises to loosen your hands. Alternate between making two fists and spreading your fingers out as far as possible. After doing that several times, hold your hands straight out with your palms facing the ceiling. Touch each of your fingers to your thumbs, repeating the process several times until your joints begin to feel more limber.
Take Frequent Breaks to Refresh Your Arms and Wrists
Even if you use the best possible typing technique, your arms and wrists are going to get tired if your job requires you to type constantly all day long. To refresh yourself, take frequent breaks throughout the day. Stand up, walk around, and grab some water. Combine your breaks with some of the hand and wrist exercises mentioned above.
Don’t forget that one of the best ways to preserve your arms and wrists during heavy typing is by finding ways to reduce your workload. Taking a break doesn’t always have to mean leaving your desk. You can also reduce the strain on your arms and wrists by switching to verbal dictation. Try using your computer’s dictation function to write a draft of a document, switching to the keyboard only when it’s time for proofreading and error correction.