How Ergonomics Can Prevent Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

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Carpel tunnel syndrome is the experience of feeling numbness, tingling, weakness, soreness, throbbing, or other problems with the hand or possibly wrist. It’s been a syndrome that many office workers have experienced due to constant keyboard use, however, many other professions can lead to the uncomfortable nerve damage asscoiated with the ailment. It all begins with pressure on the median nerve in one’s wrist, and several tendons that travel up the forearm. Ultimately, too much use or wrongful use of the hand or wrist can lead to carpel tunnel syndrome.

Ergonomics, however, have been a preventative in carpel tunnel syndrome. Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work enviornment, but also relates directly to a person’s health in their working environment. This includes, but is not limited to, posture, stance, motion, and more. Ergonomics has played a vital role in the design of desks, chairs, and other office furniture to promote a healthy work environment for the body. If you are concerned about carpel tunnel syndrome or already have signs of CTS, there are a few steps to take to help prevent the ailment or improve motion in your hands and wrists.

Replace Tools with Ergonomically Designed Tools

One of the most common tools in an office associated with CTS is the keyboard. Ordinary keyboards can put strain on the wrists. The position at which the wrists rest while using a normal keyboard has been a leading factor in developing CTS. The acute position can cause severe stress on joints, as well. There are alternative keyboards to consider instead of the commonly used keyboard. Ergonomic keyboards are designed in a way that puts less stress on the wrists and hands. These tools are typically designed in “wave” or with a a gap betwen the middle of the keyboard, such as the one below.


This is not the only type of ergonomic keyboard. There are a variety of different designs that work to people’s preferences or the symptoms they experience with CTS.

Ergomomics Recommends Breaks

The study of ergonomics has proven that breaks from time to time during work allow your hands and wrists to rest. Working all day or typing consistently for eight to nine hours can cause a lot stress on the nerves in your hands. Multiple microbreaks (about three minutes) can reduce the risk of CTS or relieve pain. During these breaks, it’s also recommended to stretch out your hands for a minute or two and then allow them to rest.

Proper Posture Can Prevent CTS

Posture has a direct correlation to carpel tunnel syndrome. If you are a typist or someone who sits at a computer for countless hours of the day, you should always have great posture, make sure you are eye level with the computer, your neck does not bed while looking at the computer, and your feet are placed firmly on the ground. Crossing yours legs leads to bad posture habits.

Ultimately, carpel tunnel syndrome is something very difficult for typists to avoid, however, following the right tips from heatlh professionals and those specialized in ergonomics, avoiding CTS can be possible.

About the Author: Max is a guest contributor from Corporate Office Interiors, providing office furniture and ergonomically-designed furniture for workplaces in Kalamazoo, Detroit, and the Greater Lansing Area in Michigan.