We use tendons and muscles in our wrists for countless tasks as we go about our daily business. Eating a salad? Lifting that fork to your mouth requires wrist tendons and muscles. Washing the dishes? Writing a note? Driving? Same thing. Typing and mousing on a non-ergonomic keyboard and mouse? You better believe it. In fact, the sheer number of hours you spend typing away at work make the office just about the biggest risk factor for wrist injury, which will seriously disrupt both your personal life and your ability to perform well at work.
And that, really, is the worst thing about wrist injury: it affects every aspect of your life, meaning that you can no longer do what you want or need to (at least not at the speeds and with the same kind of competency as you once enjoyed). But wrist injury isn’t an inevitably, even in our keyboard-heavy work culture. Measures you can take to prevent it include:
1) Embracing ergonomics.
To maintain wrist health, ensure that you’re always typing in a neutral position, without your wrists flexing too far up or down (particularly for a sustained period of time). Also try to avoid repeated pinching. If you have large hands, leave them plenty of space to navigate across your workspace. Both an ergonomic mouse and an ergonomic keyboard will help you achieve all of these changes and will provide you with the proper support you need. An ergonomic keyboard is especially crucial for maintaining that neutral position, as it allows for vertical tenting so that you can find the most natural angle for you.
2) Change your behavior.
Ergonomic equipment can only be effective if you change your behavior as well. Make sure to stretch periodically throughout your work session to increase elasticity and blood flow. Recruit work ergonomic work buddies to exchange tips and keep each other accountable.
3) Catch musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) early
It’s better to get on top of any injuries before they develop too far. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms and report them as soon you notice any pain or changes.
For more on this subject, we highly recommend reading the article,Wrist Injury Prevention 101, which provides an in-depth look at how to maintain the health of your wrists and tendons.
How do you keep your wrists healthy? Let us know in the comments below.