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How To Stop Your Fingers From Hurting While You Type

How To Stop Your Fingers From Hurting While You Type


Good morning, Ross here.. It's 7.40am and I've come in early today to try and soldier through some work before everyone else arrives and the rush begins. Naturally, I've been distracted by disappearing down a Google wormhole and ended up writing this. So all that work is going to have to wait.

Anyway, if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer (which we try to avoid but sometimes it just can't be helped), you'll know this feeling. It's a strange dull ache that starts just above your knuckles and slowly moves up your fingers; along the fleshy bits and through the joints. Eventually, the ends of your fingers start to feel a bit numb.

Plenty of people experience this in their lives and just think they need to get on with it. It turns out there's something that can be done... and it's actually surprisingly simple.

It's all about posture.

It's no surprise that humans didn't evolve with typing in mind (or weren't created with typing in mind. Whichever you prefer). It's strange and unnatural for our wrists and hands to rotate and conform to the rigid shape of your keyboard. Start typing something and look down at the shape and position of your hands. I'm going to take a few guesses; correct me if I'm wrong.

  • You're resting your forearms on the desk. Either at the elbow or just below it.
  • Both of your elbows are significantly further out than your wrists.
  • Both of your hands are rotated out from your wrists to conform with the straight lines of your keys.

Turns out (according to Dr Google, at least) that all of those things are bad news. You're opening joints, stretching tendons and generally treating your hands and wrists pretty badly. Boo you. 

Here's what you need to do

Sort out your position. I don't mean to sound like your mum but stop hunching your shoulders! Sit with you back straight and your hips back in your chair. Raise your chair/lower your desk until the surface is the same height as your elbows.

Rearrange your desk. You're going to want to bring your keyboard forward. Try to sit it close to the edge of your desk so that you don't encourage yourself to slouch and lean without even thinking about it. 

Take a break. Sure, of course you've got plenty of time to take a few minutes out every half and hour and go for a walk. Ok, maybe you don't. but try to take the time because it genuinely might help. 

Grab some gadgets

There's loads of tech around that could help you with this. 

Ergonomic keyboards.

The Kinesis Advantage 2 Keyboard looks ridiculous but (we're told) it helps. Here's a video of someone else typing, if you like that kind of thing:

You can also buy computer mice that you control with your feet. Which would be a great conversation starter. Bravo to Ben Wheeler who found and pointed out this (unintentionally hilarious) video about one of them.

Happy typing!