Work Wellness

Desk Setup Tips to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 4, 2021
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With more and more people working at their computers nowadays, it’s essential to see the dangers of sitting down for too long in the workplace. Despite the look of your desks, you might have a carpal tunnel desk setup instead of a desk set up that supports good ergonomics and good posture. Sadly, Carpal tunnel syndrome for office workers is a common affliction.

However, preventing carpal tunnel syndrome might be as easy as creating a no carpal tunnel desk setup using an ergonomic desk.

Defining the Terms

Defining the terms

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an injury that can affect your hands. Whenever you sit hunched over a keyboard for too long, it places pressure on your arms, wrists, and hands. One of the nerves that reacts poorly to pressure is the median nerve. The median nerve starts in the middle of your arm, moves through the carpal tunnel, and then goes into your hand.

This nerve is what makes your fingers move, and it’s also what makes you have feelings inside of your fingers. If the nerve has too much pressure placed upon it during your workday, it can shut down.

A shut down median nerve can lead to numbness and itching in your hands, weakness, tingling around your wrists and arms, and muscle cramping. Carpal tunnel syndrome can severely ruin your hands if not treated using carpal tunnel ergonomics.

If not treated, it can lead to severe muscle decay in your hands, stopping you from gripping, holding, and shaking your hands. It can also damage your finger strength as well, and advanced stages of carpal tunnel syndrome can be challenging to come back from.

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome is very easy. With a few tweaks to your work environment, you should find yourself doing better than ever!

Using Ergonomics to Fight Carpal Tunnel

Using ergonomics to fight carpal tunnel

Ergonomics is the study of efficiency in the work environment. Most changes to efficiency are designed to make workers comfortable and able to do long tasks for several hours. The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to get into a high work flow state. Everyone wants to be in that flow state, and ergonomics helps us get there faster and stay in that state longer.

One of the best places to start with ergonomics in the workplace is in the place where we spend the most time. Our office desk setup for carpal tunnel syndrome! Believe it or not, our standing desks and ergonomic chairs have been some of the main culprits whenever it comes to back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and poor posture that can take quite a while to fix.

In order to figure out how to prevent carpal tunnel from mouse, keyboard, or monitor screen, you need to set up ergonomic desks. That should start fixing our bodies’ most significant problems, and then the rest is up to you.

How To Setup A Ergonomic Desk

How to setup ergonomic desk

Ergonomics is all about efficiency and making things easier. One of the first things you should do to prevent carpal tunnel is to do some standing desk height calculation to fit your body and adjust its height and, by extension, your keyboard. You should be able to reach your hands out, keep them at a 90-degree angle, and then rest them comfortably on the keyboard.

If you feel your hands bending or your back reclining when you place them at the keyboard, then adjust the height and try again. You can also invest in a bigger keyboard that lets you spread your arms and shoulders out while typing on it. It helps to correct your sitting posture while typing or writing. 

To complete your carpal tunnel desk setup, you can purchase a mouse that fits into your hand. Holding your mouse should feel entirely natural, and your fingers shouldn’t curve or cramp to work around it.

Adjust the Height Of the Desk, Or Of You

Adjust the height of the desk

Another way that ergonomics supports your efficiency is through trading up your posture. Ergonomic chairs like ErgoChair 2 force your back to sit up straight in a natural position, your hands are kept outstretched, and your feet are flat on the floor. If you aren’t putting any pressure on the median nerve, there’s no risk of developing carpal tunnel.

Your wrists should be flat at the keyboard without having to bend, and your monitor should be about an arm’s length away. That’s the proper way to sit to both avoid carpal tunnel and also to be more productive.

If you need help getting into the correct posture for your desk, consider purchasing an ergonomic desk chair. These chairs are designed to give you the best lumbar and back support imaginable and can slowly train your body to get comfortable with the benefits of an ergonomic workstation.

You should adjust your desk’s height or monitor, so you are looking straight at the computer screen. This eliminates neck curving and fatigue, stops eye strain, and allows the rest of your body to remain straight and natural.

If you don’t have the means to adjust your desk, then you can start changing your own height. Transition yourself to a standing desk and stand while working. Studies on standing desks have shown they are perfect for an ergonomic lifestyle and much better for your health as well.

Keeping Your Hands Limber

Keeping your hands limber

Whenever a muscle gets sore at the gym, what do you do with it? Chances are you stretch it out, ice or heat it, and then attempt to go through the pain. Your hands receiving carpal tunnel, especially during the early days of the syndrome, are no different. Instead of shaking the carpal tunnel off, however, you can take the time to rest your hands.

Several hand and wrist exercises can help you make sure that your median nerve is rested. They can be done at any point in the day, multiple times during the day, and soon any pain in your hands should go away.

Removing carpal tunnel syndrome from your work life only requires you to make a few small lifestyle changes. If you are committed to making these minor changes and seeing your work life change exponentially, with greater productivity and less pain, then having an ergonomic desk space is perfect for you!

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