Select A Topic

Proper Typing Technique

Print PDF

I recently got a call from a customer about a problem they had with their new computer that brought to might the subject at hand. The problem stemmed from the fact that occationally, the keyboard would perform a control command that had unpredictable effects. A connected remotely and indeed witnessed this unusual behavior with my own eyes. I decided to pay an onsite visit to test the computer out. Diagnostics tested fine and I could not seem to recreate the problem the user had. Then the thought occurred to me that it simply may not be the computer, but the individual. I asked the user to sit down and begin typing. And sure enough, I discovered the problem. The user had an improper typing technique that allowed the palm of the hand to rest near or on the CRTL key button on the lower left hand side of the keyboard. When I inquired as to why he was typing that way, he simply answered that that was the way he always did it. The problem never surfaced before because he was using a standard keyboard with a desktop and switched to a laptop recently. What concerned me was the typing technique and the ramifications for poor form in the future, which now brings me to my current subject: Proper Typing Technique. Now before to click the back arrow and leave, hear me out.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Association, at least one third of injuries each year among American workers are work-related musculoskeletal disorders, or WRMDs for short, caused by the lack of attention to ergonomics. So what does this mean? Simply, the lack of proper technique while working on a laptop or desktop PC. WRMDs such as carpel tunnel, disc herniation and tendinitis can become a problem for users without them realizing it. Users of all ages can fall victim to these disorders if proper techniques are not utilized. But you can help prevent it or at least minimize the chances by following these steps below.

  1. Use a supportive, adjustable desk chair. Adjust chair height so your legs form a 90-degree (or greater) angle at the knee and your feet are placed firmly on the floor in front of you. Your chair should provide you with proper lumbar support, as well. If you've been using an old folding chair from the garage, you need to go shopping.

  2. Place a sturdy footrest under your feet if they fail to touch the floor after you've adjusted your chair.

  3. Remember that proper typing posture reduces workload on your wrists, forearms and shoulders. To achieve this, place your keyboard slightly below your elbows, allowing the top of the keyboard to slope slightly away from you so your wrists are in a neutral position when your fingers are placed on the keys. If you don't have a keyboard with adjustable legs that allow you to create this negative slope, buy an ergonomic, gel wrist rest when you visit The rest allows you to assume a neutral wrist position and reduces nerve pain and pressure on the carpel tunnel.

  4. Avoid neck fatigue and headaches by adjusting the top of your monitor to eye level or slightly below, and approximately one arm length from your body. When positioned correctly, you should be looking slightly downward to view the screen center.

  5. Relax your shoulders, maintaining a neutral spine, with shoulders positioned directly over the hips as you prepare to type. Make sure that your arms, hands and fingers are relaxed. Type with your hands hovering above the keyboard, resting your wrists only when you stop typing. This position prevents nerve compression and decreased blood flow to the wrist, hands and fingers.

  6. Avoid tightly gripping the mouse, as this causes muscle strain and hand cramping. Relax your hand over the mouse, instead. If you find that you cannot comfortably use an external mouse, try a trackball or a touch pad, instead.

  7. Use a document holder to position paperwork next to your monitor if you're referring to it frequently. This enables you to look directly at the document without tucking your chin and looking down at the desk, sparing you neck and eye strain. sells several different types of document holders, from monitor-mounted types to free-standing easel designs.

  8. Take regular breaks, reminding yourself to get up and move around for a minute or two after 20 to 30 minutes of typing. Maintaining proper posture while stretching periodically decreases muscle tightness and fatigue and allows you to remain more comfortable between breaks.

With more and more users spending time on social networks, updating blogs or personal websites, and reading email just to name a few, The number of incidents of these disorders will continue to esculate. Think about the method in which you are working with the PC or Laptop. Make the nessisary changes. You’ll be glad you did.

Additional tips
  1. If you have an old-school, flat keyboard, try replacing it with an ergonomic keyboard. While these new keyboards look unusual, their contoured or split design maximizes comfort and ergonomic wrist position. You'll find a variety of keyboard choices at Ergonomic Resources.

  2. If you're using a laptop, consider attaching a separate, ergonomic keyboard and mouse to it. The flat keyboard design on most laptops can cause undue strain on your hands and wrists. If you must use the laptop keyboard, be sure to relax and stretch your forearms and wrists frequently..

eHow Writer contributed to this article