"KEYS" To Healthy Keyboarding

1. Maintain good posture. Do not slouch. If your back is curled, your head will bend forward, increasing tension at the shoulders, forearms, wrists & hands.

2. Keep your wrists in a neutral position. Do not park your hands on the wrist rest or on the edge of the table. Adjust your position so your arms are relaxed at your sides, elbows bent to approximately 90 degrees, forearms and wrists straight, and fingers slightly curled onto the keyboard. Initiate movement from the shoulders, elbows, and forearms.

3. Relax your arms when you are not keying. Do not maintain a ready-to-type position. Your muscles need a chance to rest.

4. Keep your elbows bent to approximately 90 degrees. Avoid “chicken wings”. Do not place your elbows too far away from the body. This may increase upper arm and shoulder tension.

5. Forget home row. Allow hands to move freely across the keyboard. Engage the larger shoulder muscles to help with hand movement. If you are worried about quickly finding your place on home row again, stick the fuzzy half of a Velcro dot or other soft raised marker on the “F” and “J” keys.

6. The thumbs should remain relaxed when not keying. Do not tuck them under the other fingers or keep them stretched out. Thumbs should fall on the space bar. Alternate thumb use on the spacebar.

7. Maintain a relaxed, slightly curled position of all fingers on the keyboard. Watch out for “flying fingers” – often the little fingers and/or the thumbs.

8. Slow down. Speeding often leads to heavy keying & mistakes, and flying fingers.

9. Type softly. Learn to use gravity to your advantage and let your fingers “drop onto the keys”.

10. Preserve the natural curve of your hands when keying.


Mouse Recommendations

1. Relax your shoulders, bend your elbows to 90 degrees and maintain a neutral wrist position.

2. Hold the mouse gently, don’t squeeze the mouse.

3. Keep the wrist in a neutral position. Avoid holding the wrist in an upright or downward position.

4. Don’t lean wrists on the table.

5. Strike the mouse key gently, not hard.

6. Avoid leaving your hand on the mouse when you are not using it. Click and move away.

7. Consider using the mouse with your nondominant side for some or all of the time.

8. Do not use a mouse tray off to the side of the workstation—it can create tension in the entire arm up to the shoulder. Use a mouse bridge over the number pad.