Helping Creative People Create

Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome By Setting Up An Ergonomic Desktop Station

Hopefully I’m really wrong on this, but I think I may be coming down with the very first stages of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Not a good thing for a guy who’s livelihood depends on using his hands. I didn’t know much about this injury, other than the fact that it sucks. So naturally, I asked Wikipedia. Basically, it’s a

medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed at the wrist causing symptoms like tingling, numbness, night time wakening, pain, coldness, and sometimes weakness in parts of the hand.

And it is the bane of me right now. I didn’t want to have to have surgery or wear a dorky looking brace, so naturally I Googled how to prevent it. Luckily, About.com has a slew of articles on the carpal tunnel syndrome. Here’s what I found.

Desktop Setup

The first article I checked out was on how to set up ergonomic computer station. The first thing I had to change was the monitor. I previously had a couple of books placed under the monitor so my eyes would be level to the screen. Wrong. The optimal position for the monitor is as far away as possible (at least 20 inches) without having to refocus your eyes, and tilting up at a 15 degree angle. (It would have been nice to know I needed some mad trigonometry skills to pull this off.)

For your keyboard, DON’T use the keyboard holder while typing. Only rest your hands on it while you’re hammering away at the keys. Move the mouse around with your whole arm, not just your wrist. And whatever you do, DON’T use the legs on your keyboard if you have any.

As far as the lights go, just keep them at around what a normal day outside would be like without sunglasses. And don’t use task lighting either.

Use a chair with lumbar support and armrests if possible. Try to move your feet around often and don’t keep them flat on the floor. No crossing ankles either. Be sure and lean back slightly in your chair so that you can reap the benefits of your kickin’ lumbar support. This is a pretty detailed section, so be sure to go over it in depth.

Other Reads

About.com has some more great articles on how to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some of the most important things you can do are to make sure you’re switching activities and taking breaks often. Common sense goes a long way. I wish I had some…

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