Do you experience occasional back or neck pain? You may have heard that poor posture is one of the main reasons behind these symptoms. A survey found that 4 in 10 office workers will experience back pain at some point.
These days, many of us spend a good chunk of the day sitting in front of a computer. This is true whether we are at work, attend regular lessons or follow online courses. To lower the incidence of annoying symptoms and the risk of health complications, it’s paramount to develop a correct posture when typing. Moreover, a proper posture when using our computer tends to increase your work’s speed and accuracy.
Let’s dig into why a poor posture is harmful and how understanding typing ergonomics can help you improve it.
What Are The Negative Effects of a Wrong Typing Posture?
#1 Back and Neck Pain
This is the most common effect of keeping your body in the wrong position while your hands are on the keyboard. Poor posture can cause the misalignment of your upper body. This results in excess strain, pain, and discomfort in your upper back, shoulders, and neck.
#2 Wrist Pain
If you are used to typing for hours on your keyboard, the tendons in your wrist experience continuous back-and-forth movement. This generates friction in your wrist and causes it to suffer from microtrauma. This condition is also known as tendonitis.
You may feel weakness and cramps in your wrist, along with pain. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that wrist pain was common in students, and increased use of computers and other gadgets resulted in a higher incidence of this condition and even disability of the wrist joint.
#3 Repetitive Strain Injury
As the name suggests, repetitive strain injury (also known as RSI) refers to a part of your body experiencing strain again and again. The repetitive motion of typing on a keyboard while being in an incorrect position puts massive pressure on your elbow and hand joints. RSIs are often associated with constant typing, video gaming, and texting in a wrong sitting posture.
#4 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A repetitive typing motion can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This happens when the carpel tunnel in your wrist swells, pressuring the nerve and resulting in wrist pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain in your fingers, the feeling of pins throughout your forearm, and even weakness in your thumb. Due to the severity of these symptoms, you should correct your typing posture as soon as possible to avoid experiencing a severe stage of injury.
What Are The Benefits of a Proper Typing Posture?
There are plenty of positive effects resulting from a correct typing position. These range from physical benefits to psychological improvements, as well as a boost in learning productivity.
#1 Increased Confidence
A study found that students who hold a proper posture are more likely to think confidently and even perform better on tests.
#2 Boost in Energy and Productivity
Incorrect typing posture causes fatigue and thus declines your energy levels. In contrast, good body alignment gives you an extra boost and helps you remain more focused on your tasks.
If your back or neck is hurting due to a wrong sitting position, you will get distracted and not pay enough attention to your task. So, the proper posture enhances your productivity as well.
#3 Reduced Risk of Injury
As we discussed above, incorrect typing positions can cause injuries. Proper posture helps you avoid injuries involving your arms, wrist, back, neck, or shoulders.
#4 Fewer Headaches
Getting a headache while studying or working can be very irritating and problematic. This problem is frequently caused by the tension in your back and neck that is induced by bad posture. Developing the proper typing posture is a great way to lower the risk of headaches.
What is The Correct Posture When Typing?
“Sit straight and don’t slouch your back” is a phrase you might have heard or read around. It’s a good general rule, but here’s a more detailed, step-by-step guide on how to develop the correct typing position. Each step refers to the position of a different body part.
#1 Feets and Legs
Your feet should be flat on the ground, and you should avoid extending your legs forwards.
Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle. Keep your arms close to your sides.
#3 Wrists and Hands
Maintain a neutral position for your wrist, and consider using a wrist pad.
Keep your head straight and make sure that the top of your monitor’s screen is at eye level. Avoid tilting your head excessively.
Creating an Ergonomic Workstation
Your primary objective should be to increase your studying efficiency and protect your health without compromising comfort. Setting up an ergonomic workstation is achieved by coupling the right furniture with the correct typing posture.
Here are the most important pieces of furniture you will need.
Use an adjustable ergonomic chair that supports the lower back region.
Your desk should have a suitable height, so your keyboard isn’t too high for you once you place it on the desk.
#3 Keyboard and Mouse
Keep the mouse and your ergonomic keyboard as close to each other as possible. Your hands should be at the same level as your elbows, or even lower. Your wrist shouldn’t have to bend downwards or upwards while typing.
Wrapping It Up
That was a lot of posture talk, wasn’t it? But now you know how to say goodbye to that unwanted back pain and get the most out of your work or study hours.
These tips are especially important if attend online courses on a regular basis. When we are the only person in the room, we have less inputs from the external environment. This means that we have to exert a higher level of self-discipline and be our own supervisor.
While the correct typing posture and ergonomic equipment can help you control your physical fatigue, don’t forget to take regular breaks while working. No matter how good your posture is, sitting for very long periods without taking breaks, walking around, or exercising a bit is not healthy for your body anyways. Our bodies are made to move, after all.
So now that you just completed reading this article feel free to stand up, stretch, and then come back to work. And don’t forget to leave any comment below if you have any doubts and to check our other articles on online learning advice.
First published on December 1, 2022