How to Use Your Keyboard and Mouse Without Hurting Yourself

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I recently learned I’ve been typing and mousing all wrong. Turns out there are correct and incorrect ways to do it in terms of ergonomics, and improper technique over time can lead to injury (I’m sure I heard this at some point, but never cared to pay attention until now).

I picked up most of my tips here.

But before we get into that, here are a few basic health recommendations for sitting and viewing:

  • Keep your screen at eye level so that you’re not bending your neck down to see.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor and don’t cross them.

For typing:

  • Your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle.
  • Your wrists should  extend straight out from your arms,  not be bent up or down.
  • Your wrists should stay up in the air and not rest on your laptop or keyboard.
  • Your fingers should be relaxed and slightly bent, rather than bent sharply down at the knuckles.

For mousing:

  • Keep your wrist in the air; don’t rest it on the desk.
  • Move your whole arm when reaching for the mouse and when moving it around. Your wrist should not move when using the mouse.
  • When using a scroll wheel, the index finger should be used for the left click, the middle finger for scrolling, and the ring finger for the right click (assuming you’re right handed).

I’ve also noticed that I use some of the wrong fingers for certain keys, which can lead to strain and inefficiency. So I may be spending some time over at typingweb while I continue practicing my ergonomics.

With as much time as I spend in front of a screen, it’s probably worth investing a little time to establish the proper habits. Better late than never, right?

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Author: Dave Mierau (Meer-oh)

Christ follower, family man, lifelong learner.

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