Posture While Typing
Good posture is essential for all computer users.
You should adopt a natural and relaxed position, providing opportunity for movement, from which you can assume a number of alternative positions.
There is no single, rigidly defined position.
Typing is a physical activity, and using a keyboard requires skill, hence the need to learn correct typing technique.
Unskilled (‘hunt and peck’) typists are particularly at risk of “occupational overuse injury” because they:
Often use only one or two fingers which may overload the finger tendons are constantly looking from keyboard to screen to keyboard, which may strain neck muscles
Often adopt a tense posture (wrists bent back and fingers ‘poised to strike’).
Speed of keying
The efficiency and speed of modern computers makes it possible for a skilled operator to type extremely quickly.
This capability, reinforced by workload pressures, means the potential exists for operators to key at speeds which may cause or contribute to occupational overuse syndrome.
The role of the repetitive movement in injury is not fully understood, but is believed to interfere with the lubrication capacity of tendons, and the ability of muscles to receive sufficient oxygen supplies.
Length of time on the keyboard
The maintenance of a fixed posture for long periods is tiring and increases the likelihood of muscular aches and pains.
In addition, long periods of repetitive movement and sustained visual attention can also give rise to fatigue-related complaints.
It is recommended that operators take regular postural/stretching breaks to reduce intense periods of repetitive movement.
Employees newly engaged in keyboard work, and staff returning from an absence of two or more weeks, need a period of adjustment.
The adjustment may be achieved through reduced work rates, or provision of alternative duties with a gradual reintroduction to keyboard work.
Jobs should be designed and organised so that either:
Computer-related tasks can be interspersed with non computer related,
Computer based tasks can be rotated amongst several staff (task/job sharing).