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How can I position my keyboard to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

Positioning your computer keyboard improperly can increase your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. When using your keyboard, make sure your wrists form a straight line between your hands and your forearms. Your hands may be lower—but never higher—than your elbows. Keeping your keyboard at a low position relative to your body, and using a wrist pad, may help you maintain the healthiest wrist position possible when using a keyboard.

Dr. Prosper A. Benhaim, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

To avoid carpal tunnel syndrome the preferred position of the keyboard is such that it allows comfortable positioning of the arm, elbow, forearm and wrist without excessive flexion of the elbow. Ideally, the keyboard should be 1 to 2 inches above the thighs. The easiest way to achieve this is to have a pullout keyboard tray. The keyboard should be tilted down and away from the worker, so that the position of the hand follows the normal downward slope of the thighs. A padded keyboard hand rest can place the hand in a favorable position. For some people, an articulated keyboard that allows the keyboard to be bent in the middle will place the forearm/wrist in a partially rotated position that allows for more comfortable and less stressful typing. The keyboard and mouse should be on the same level.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.