- Beat Procrastination At Work
- Your Spine Ergonomic Checklist
- Meeting Special Needs Ergonomic Positioning Explained in the Office
- Ergonomic Positioning of Your Desk, Computer Monitor and Keyboard Tray Are Important
- Addressing the Human Factor in Ergonomic Solutions
| Home Office & Home Office The Organized Work Place Carpal Tunnel Ergonomic Positioning Explained - Part Three
Work PlaceCarpal Tunnel Ergonomic Positioning Explained - Part Three
Carpal Tunnel is a common workplace concern due to the rising numbers of people suffering from carpal tunnel due to bad workplace ergonomics. Carpal tunnel affects the hands, arms, fingers and even the back of the sufferer and can cause serious problems, rendering the worker useless for even the simplest of tasks. Carpal tunnel syndrome while it sounds complicated is actually quite simply explained.
At the heart of the problem, the median nerve is under control of the sensations in our hands and fingers. This nerve passes through our wrist in a “tunnel”. Carpus is actually Latin for wrist and the problem stems from wrist placement.
The wrist bones and ligaments in our arms form the walls of the nerve tunnel median nerve. The tendons that control finger motion are also in this tunnel along with the nerves. These tendons are supposed to move in a straight line and are designed with a straight motion in mind. These same tendons, when moved at an angle repetitively will start to rub and swell.
When constantly moving your fingers in a typing motion with your wrists bent, you are forcing your tendons to move in a pattern that they were not designed for. Eventually, the rubbing of the tendons will cause so much swelling that it will leave no room for the median nerve. When the median nerve becomes damaged by this constant compression you can lose sensation in your fingers and hands, starting with a tingle similar to numbness. This renders you incapable of completing even the simplest of office tasks.
Usually corrective action is taken first, such as a wrist brace stabilizer to keep the tendons from rubbing. Drugs such as cortisone, to help control the swelling are also used. If the problem is not fixed or continues to be aggravated, surgery to open up the carpal tunnel and make more room may be needed.
Positioning your keyboard tray and mouse platform so that the elbows are at or above the keyboard height is important. Relaxing your arms so that they hang naturally from your shoulders will also help you to keep the proper position. Also make sure to keep your forearms parallel to the floor and your wrists in a neutral position. Make sure to always keep your feet on the floor, even if this requires a footrest.
With good ergonomic positioning and practicing proper techniques and keyboard/seat height placement, carpal tunnel syndrome can be avoided. Prevention of carpal tunnel in the office environment is as simple as keeping proper keyboard/seat height and remembering your postion throughout the day.