Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve compression, is one of the most common conditions causing pain for office workers across the globe. It’s often caused by excess pressure in the wrist and on the median nerve. The irritation often results in swelling and pain.
While preventing carpal tunnel might sound like a daunting task, it’s actually fairly easy to avoid. With the right combination of software and ergonomic office equipment, you can reduce your risk of pain while still being as productive as possible.
Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM software is an essential tool for preventing carpal tunnel syndrome because they provide users with a central hub to manage essential information. Whether it’s customer notes, email correspondence, and even phone call logs, CRM systems help to cut down on the number of unnecessary notes you need to take throughout the day.
When you’re choosing a CRM system for your business, there are a few considerations you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Mobile support: What functionality is included within the mobile apps. Are you able to access your records offline? Are you still provided with full admin controls? Can you edit data as needed?
- Customer support: Will you be able to receive assistance when you need it during the workday?
- Integration with other systems: Does the CRM integrate with other essential business tools such as invoicing, email, and phone systems?
Voice over IP (VoIP)
Modern VoIP systems are much more than a cost effective tool to help you connect with customers and colleagues. They’re also a helpful tool to combat carpal tunnel syndrome because the built-in recording and transcription capabilities enable you to get by without having to continuously take notes.
Although it can be overwhelming trying to find the right VoIP system for your business, you can make the process a bit simpler by considering the following:
- Does the service provide your business with an 800 number? Although many phone carriers don’t charge for long-distance calls, having an 800 number adds a level of professionalism which isn’t provided with traditional numbers.
- Can you use the system to send faxes? If you’re running a law firm or medical practice, having a VoIP system which supports fax transmissions is a simple yet effective way to keep costs low.
- What mobile apps are supported? By choosing a VoIP service with companion mobile apps, you can make/receive calls on your mobile device, plus you can also access transcriptions while on the go.
Did you know that the amount of time you spend using your keyboard is the number-one risk factor of carpal tunnel syndrome? If you increase your keyboarding from 15 minutes to four hours’ daily, the chances of getting carpal tunnel increases from 30 to 90 percent.
Ergonomic keyboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the most common being the ones below:
- Split keyboards: These are a single board with the keys split into two or three groups. This enables the user to type at a better angle than they would with a traditional keyboard.
- Contoured keyboards: These place the keys into two depressions which are set to be approximately shoulder length apart. With these arrangements, the function keys are set between the groups to be accessible by the thumbs.
- Angled split keyboards: These keyboards are similar to split keyboards however the middle is angled so that the index fingers are higher than the other fingers when typing.
Mouse Pad with Wrist Rest
It might not seem like much, but a simple wrist rest can go a long way in helping you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. The main reason for this is because they offer support where the wrist sags. They’re not intended to be used during typing and mouse use, but rather when you’re taking a break, they’re a way to avoid unnecessary dead weight and fatigue.
Finding the Right Combination of Tools
The great thing about modern office technology such as CRM and VoIP systems is that they’re extremely cost effective, and fairly easy to integrate into your business. When combined with the right office furniture, you’ll be able to work on your terms without having to worry about the pain which comes from carpal tunnel syndrome.