Writing Ergonomics: Investing in Myself, My Career, & My Wrists

I’ve had problems with my wrists for years. At their worst, I couldn’t carry a book with just one hand or open a car door. Mercifully, the pain wasn’t constant but would come and go.

This year, I asked the chiropractor for help– and it turned out not to be an issue with my spine, so she sent me to my regular doctor, who said my problems were from overuse. Overuse? Me? I’m just a writer and blogger and … oh. You mean typing directly on a laptop at work all day and then directly on a laptop (on the couch, at that) all night might be rough on my hands and wrists?

I talked to my supervisor about getting an ergonomic set-up at my office desk. We elevated my laptop, located a better chair, and purchased an ergonomic keyboard.

This beast of a thing:

work keyboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

At home was a little trickier. I didn’t think I had room in my small apartment for a desk, so at first, I purchased some wrist pads for my laptop, but it was pretty clear that they weren’t doing much– plus, they got in the way and slowed me down.

So, I did some rearranging in my head, hopped on Craigslist, and found an amazing old desk that I immediately fell in love with.

Here it is, in my apartment. Isn’t it gorgeous?

new desk

 

After that, I did a ton of research about keyboards. I knew I didn’t want such a huge keyboard as the one I used at work, but I wanted a good one that was still affordable. I kicked out a little more than I’d have liked for the Kinesis Freestyle, but I love it:

kinesis freestyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought it would take me longer to get used to it, but I just did a ton of my line edits on it, and I’m adjusting quickly. It’s amazing so far.

I also bought:

Goldtouch gel-filled palm supports

goldtouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an Innovera mouse pad with gel wrist pad

innovera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this TeckNet wireless mouse.

tecknet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the whole set-up. It feels so good.

In addition, my mom reupholstered my desk chair to add a LOT of padding.

Didn’t she do a great job??

mom chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, I’ve taken to icing my wrists after long bouts of writing.

I use these TheraPearl wraps. I just toss them in the freezer, then wrap them around my wrists. They stay cold for about 20 minutes or so, feel good, and keep my hands and fingers free to keep working.

thera pearl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did this cost me a lot? Yes, but not as much as you might expect. All told, it was about $300, including the desk, which is either an antique or at least looks like one!

I’m a 32-year-old writer. I plan to be writing for many, many years to come. It was time for me to invest myself and my career, and I’m so glad I did!

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4 thoughts on “Writing Ergonomics: Investing in Myself, My Career, & My Wrists

  1. You wrote this at the right time for me, Jackie–thank you! I’m having some neck and arm issues–a pinched nerve in my neck causing pain in my right shoulder and arm. My doc says it’s caused by osteoarthritis, but I suspect overuse is a contributing factor. I’m taking physical therapy, which is helping, but it’s going to be counteracted by my bad posture habits if I don’t clean those up too. I’ve been thinking of ways to be ergonomically better, so you’ve given me a good start on research! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Dear Diary: February 2015 | Jackie Lea Sommers

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