The following are tips on how to use the proper ergonomic writing technique to reduce your risk of hand and arm pain.
To Reduce Force
- Use the lightest grip possible while writing.
- Use ergonomically designed or wide-barrel pens.
- Use a rubberized grip or increase traction by wrapping a rubber-band around the pen barrel.
- Use a felt-tip pen, gel pen or roller ball so that the tip glides easily over the paper.
- Do not plant your wrist or forearm on the desk. Glide over the surface of the desk using your shoulder to initiate the movement of writing.
To Avoid Awkward Postures
- Keep the wrists neutral.
- Position the elbow so that it is open at more than a right (90 degree) angle.
- Keep the shoulders relaxed.
- Keep the hand relaxed and avoid forceful bending or hyperextension of the
- finger joints or thumb when holding the pen.
- Position the paper you are writing on about 2 inches above elbow level while sitting with your shoulders relaxed.
- Use a sloped desk to reduce the need to bend the neck or round the shoulders forward.
- Place the paper in a position that is easily accessible.
- Use a micro-desk writing platform above the keyboard.
- Get in close to the work surface.
- Don’t reach around objects placed on the desk while writing.
- Don’t hold a pen while typing.
- Use a headset if you need to type and speak on the phone at the same time.
- To Reduce Contact Stress
- Consider one of the new ergonomically designed pens.
- Use the lightest hold possible while still maintaining control of the pen.
- Don’t lean on the wrist or the forearm, especially on the sharp edge of a desk.
- Use a round, not a triangularly-shaped, rubberized grip.
To Reduce Repetitive Writing Movement
- Take micro-breaks.
- Stretch often.
- Vary work tasks.