Monday, April 19, 2010

Ten Tips for Relieving Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a complex joint. It has the widest range of motion for any joint in the body, and is carefully held together by muscles and other soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. Because of the high mobility and immense complexity, this joint is very susceptible to discomfort and injury. One of the leading causes of shoulder pain is poor posture and overuse, often associated with everyday computer use. Try these ten tips for relieving shoulder pain.

1. Take a break. Make it a habit to stop your regular activity for a few minutes every hour. Get up from you chair and walk around. If you have non-computer tasks, spread these throughout the day to provide longer breaks from your computer.

2. Stretch the sore muscles. During your breaks, or even more frequently, stretch your shoulder muscles. Try these stretches recommended by the National Institute of Health, or these quick stretches.

3. Apply hot or cold compresses. Heat will increase blood flow to the area and relax tense muscles; do not apply heat to an inflamed area. For inflammation, cold packs can numb the pain and reduce swelling; do not to apply ice directly to the skin. Use this treatment no longer than 20 minutes at a time and only once an hour.

4. Adjust your chair. This is the foundation for good posture at your desk. First, assess the back rest of the chair. If it does not properly support your lower back, additional lumbar support may be needed. Next, change the height of the chair; your feet should rest flatly on the floor. Finally, lower the armrests in order to allow free, relaxed movement of arms and shoulders while using a keyboard or mouse.

5. Customize your work space. Shoulder pain is frequently caused by improper placement of keyboard and mouse. An adjustable tray can help place the keyboard at the optimum position slightly below elbow height, one to two inches above the legs. Place the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible, to avoid stretching to reach it. An ergonomically designed mini keyboard would allow the mouse to rest in the best position.

6. Re-situate your monitor. It should be directly in front of you at eye level. A monitor stand can provide the required height. The screen should only be 15 to 25 inches away from your eyes, so you don’t lean forward to read.

7. Try a phone headset. Frequent phone use can cause neck and shoulder strain, especially when holding the phone between your shoulder and ear. A headset can allow hand-free operation without the muscle strain.

8. Dock your laptop. It is impossible to achieve good posture while using a laptop. If you use a laptop for long periods of time, use a docking station that allows for the proper keyboard and monitor positions.

9. Build shoulder strength. Regular exercise can relax muscles and relieve stress. The National Research Center for the Working Environment used these five strength-building exercises to provide relief for shoulder pain.

10. Get medical advice. If your pain is related to an accident or fall; or if you also have chest pain, nausea, or shortness of breath, consult your doctor immediately.

Shoulder pain is often caused by poor positioning and overuse of the muscles. These ten tips can help restore proper posture at your office desk, relieve current discomfort, and prevent future injury and pain.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Choosing the right keyboard for you

You’ve probably heard that choosing the right keyboard is essential for ergonomic comfort. The fact of the matter is that the right keyboard (i.e. the one that fits your work space and style) can help you avoid stress-related injuries and be more productive at the same time. That said, you will need to consider several factors as you choose the most effective keyboard for you.

Tips for picking “the right” keyboard online

1. Evaluate your work area

Look at the surface space you have to work on. How much room do you actually have to house both your keyboard and your mouse? It’s important to keep the keyboard in the right position so you are not reaching to get to it and where your wrists are in a neutral (not bent or angled) position. Lastly, keep your mouse on the same height surface as the keyboard.

2. Think about what keys you really use

Think about how much you use all those extra keys on your keyboard. How often do you really use your 10 keys, arrow Keys, home keys? It may be that you don’t really need them, at least not regularly enough to prioritize them.

3. Consider your keyboard vs. mouse usage

Think about how much you use your keyboard in comparison to how much you use your mouse. Users who don’t use a their mice much can usually employ a keyboard with an Integrated Pointing Device, which cuts down on shoulder and hand pain as well as work space.

Those who use their mice frequently need to take care in not over-extending their arms too much when using mice. It might be wise to consider an Ergonomic Mini Keyboard to bring everything close together. If, however, you still need your 10 Key, then try a standalone 10 key to use when needed.

4. Try it out

If you really can’t quite decide, try to narrow it down to two keyboards and purchase both. Use our 30 day money back guarantee and try them both for a week and see which one benefits you the most. We won't even charge you a restocking fee if you don't like either of them.


The main goal is to assess your specific needs and find the keyboard that fits them and ultimately you. Be careful to maintain good posture, especially by not over-extending your reach for either your keyboard or your mouse usage. Finally, if you are not using those extra keys, switching to a Mini Ergonomic Keyboard may be the right decision for you, thus bringing in your work area so your mouse can easily be used without the extra reach.