Writing Tips

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.