Computer Arm Support

Written by Sierra Rein
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When seated at a desk, one's arms should ideally be at a slightly open angle (between 100° and 110°) with the shoulders straight and relaxed. The wrists should be in line with the forearms and palms while the fingers should be strongly arched over the keyboard when typing. To accomplish this position, the reading and writing surface should be kept one and a half to two inches above the keying height to allow the forearms to rest and the back and shoulders kept at a comfortable bearing.

If this particular desktop layout does not exist, a computer arm support can be employed to help the arms maintain a more ergonomic position. Sometimes this means placing a cushioned wrist pad underneath the lower keyboard area while typing. Other times, it requires the substitution of a more ergonomic mouse, like a vertical model, to reduce the amount of shoulder and upper back weight on the wrists and lower arms.

A number of specially designed computer arm supports are designed to attach to the desk or chair arm to provide an area for the arm to lean upon. The best computer arm supports are padded with a cushioning gel so that the weight of the arm is dispersed along a large area. However, it is essential that these supports still be used in an ergonomic manner, and not as an excuse to hunch over and lean a head upon one's palm.

Alternatives to Using Computer Arm Support Accessories

In addition, the keying surface itself can also be changed. Many companies offer trays that can lower the keyboards below the surface of the desk. This reduces the need to raise the arms up to the desktop and helps to maintain proper ergonomic arm positioning. The chair itself can also be adjusted up or down--depending on its particular set height--to place the forearms in line with the keyboard.

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