Comfort Guidelines - Important Ergonomic Information
Whether you spend five minutes or five hours using your keyboard or mouse, these recommendations can help you stay comfortable and productive.
Some researchers and experts suggest that long periods of repetitive motion, using an improperly set-up work space, incorrect body position, and poor work habits may be associated with physical discomfort and injury to nerves, tendons, and muscles. If you feel pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, swelling, burning, cramping, or stiffness in your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, or back, see a qualified health professional.
To maximize your comfort and lessen the chance of injury, follow these guidelines:
1. Make sure that your workspace is set up properly.
- Put keyboard and monitor directly in front of you with your mouse next to it.
- Have your elbow next to your side.
- Adjust the height of your chair and table so that the keyboard and mouse are at or below elbow height.
- Place your mouse within easy reach so that your elbow can remain next to your side when using it. You do not need to use a mouse pad with your optical mouse. If you choose to use a mouse pad, take its thickness into consideration when making the height adjustments.
- Have your feet well supported and your shoulders relaxed.
- Place documents you need while typing close to the monitor to reduce frequent head turning and change of eye focus. You can use a document holder to help.
- Place materials on your desk according to their frequency of use:
Frequent - Put materials you use the most closest to you.
Occasional - Put materials that you use occasionally no farther than an arm's length away.
Infrequent - Put your infrequently used materials further away, but consider convenience.
2. Keep your shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands relaxed and comfortable as you work.
- Let your arms hang loosely at your sides for a moment, allowing them to dangle toward the floor and to become relaxed.
- Try to maintain this relaxed feeling while you work.
- If you have a palmrest, use it between keying tasks, not while typing. Using it while typing may increase pressure against the hand and increase the chance of injury.
- When you use you keyboard or mouse, avoid placing or supporting your wrists on sharp edges or on your desk:
- As you use your mouse, make sure that your elbow is next to your side. Keep your wrist relaxed and straight -- don't bend it up, down, or to either side. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do not hunch or shrug:
3. Practice good work habits.
- Learn how to use your keyboard and mouse to get the most comfort out of it. You will avoid unnecessary motions.
- Take frequent short breaks. Get up and walk around at least a couple of times every hour.
- Vary your tasks throughout the day. Do something different with your hands and arms for awhile.
- Use a light touch on the keyboard and for better control of the mouse.
- Install and use the software provided with your product to customize specific keys of buttons to minimize repetitive or awkward motions.
4. Be alert to signs of discomfort.
If at any time during or after typing you feel pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in your hands, wrists elbows, shoulders, neck, or back, or if you have any reason to believe that you night be experiencing discomfort as a result of typing or from using the mouse, you should consult a qualified health professional.