Hand Therapy & Occupational Fitness Center of Santa Barbara

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Computer-Related Pain


The following recommendations make my top ten list for avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and other computer-related strains and pains.
    1. Don’t squeeze the mouse too hard. Keep a loose grip.
    2. Don’t swivel the wrist while using the mouse. Move through the shoulder and elbow.
    3. Keep the wrists neutral. And try going vertical (with a vertical mouse).
    4. Don’t reach up or outward for the mouse. Keep it on the same level as the keyboard and keep it in close.
    5. Don’t rest your wrists on the wrist rest. This places pressure directly over the carpal tunnel and isolates finger movement causing too much strain on small muscles.
    6. Type lightly. Keep the fingers relaxed. Float over the keyboard.
    7. Open the elbows slightly greater than 90 degrees. Use an under-the-desk keyboard tray to position the keyboard at the correct height. Or, if you need to raise the chair seat, make sure your feet are properly supported.
    8. Avoid the rounded shoulder and forward head posture. Sit properly with the ears, shoulders and elbows in vertical alignment.
    9. Place the monitor at eye level so you don’t strain the neck and shoulder muscles by looking down at the screen.
    10. Don’t use bifocals. Peering under the lens can cause awkward head positioning and promote neck strain. Obtain special glasses for use only on the computer that are prescribed for the distance between your eyes and the monitor.