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5 Essential Typing and Mousing Techniques to Avoid Stress Injuries

Sunday, March 20, 2011
By Anne Kramer

Today, everyone uses a computer in their job and home – many have no idea they could be contributing to a stress injury. Strain and stress from incorrect typing and mousing techniques are one of the major causes of types of injuries.

To learn how you can avoid these types of injuries and improve your efficiency on the computer, consider the following 5 essential typing and mousing techniques:

  1. Hold the Mouse loosely - Many people who use a computer grip their mouse forcefully or with a firm grip. By using a tighter grip, you’re increasing tension throughout your fingers and part of your wrist. The correct mousing technique is to lessen the strain, hold your mouse loosely.
  2. Don’t lift that pinkie finger - Just as it’s important to hold the mouse loosely, it’s important to keep all fingers on the mouse. There are some who raise their pinkie finger as they use their mouse. Again, this leads to strain on your wrist and hand. The next time you catch yourself raising your pinkie, remember the correct mousing technique and close your pinkie down to reduce the stress on your fingers, hand and wrist.
  3. Type lightly - In the movies and even in the desk next to us, we hear someone typing heavily on their keyboard. Although it may sound like they are hard at work, they are causing undue strain on their wrists and fingers. Remember, to lessen the stress type lightly – your cubicle neighbor might even thank you for doing this.
  4. Curve your fingers - Do you type with rigid thumbs or with your pinkie fingers up? If so, you’re contributing to additional stress on your fingers, hands and wrists. The proper typing technique is to curve all your fingers and ensure you keep them loose for increased typing performance with less strain.
  5. Avoid ‘Planting & Pivoting' your wrist while keying - Keep your wrists in a neutral (straight) position so they are not bent up or down. Repeatedly bending your wrists up and down (extension and flexion) compresses structures inside the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This can cause pain and lead to injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Although many believe they are using optimal typing and mousing techniques, they are actually contributing to a possible stress injury. To get your typing efficiency up and your wrist and hand stress down, consider following the tips we have outlined for you.

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