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I'm fresh out of college and recently started my first full-time job as a software programmer. I started to get some wrist pain, which is somewhat normal (though not good, obviously), so I'm taking steps to avoid that. The main issue is that I'm very tall--nearly 6'9" (2.08m)--so my arms come down to the mouse/keyboard at an angle. I purchased a gel wrist rest for my keyboard to force myself to have the correct typing angle and I also purchased a vertical mouse, but I don't think the latter is working as intended because the required angle puts all of the pressure on my pisiform (?) bone and this is very uncomfortable. I tried sliding the keyboard wrist rest over just to test if a wrist rest would alleviate the problem, but there's so much pressure on that point that even the wrist rest didn't help much.

For some additional information in case it's useful: I do fit underneath the desk, but if I sit properly with my knees forming a 90° angle then there's about a 1/4" distance between my leg and the bottom of the desk. Tight fit (though not uncomfortably so).

(This next part is more additional information, I'm not specifically looking for help with it [though you can answer if you want], I just want to provide all of the information that I can.) As I've been using it this morning, I've been trying to figure out how to correctly hold the mouse, and I can't actually find any information online for the correct way to actually hold a vertical mouse. I keep getting hand cramps from holding it, which would indicate to me that I'm holding it too tightly, but what do I know?

How can I adjust my workstation/desk/chair so that everything is ergonomically correct for my wrists?

  • I'm not quite as tall as you, but I have the same issues. I've found that the movement of the mouse is more the culprit, not so much the position of my wrist. I switched to using a trackball several years ago and had significantly less wrist issues since. I'd also recommend raising your desktop up if possible (this is actually pretty easy in most cubes/modular office desks). – Evil Genius Jun 19 '15 at 14:16
  • You could also try getting wrist splints. They will force you to keep your wrists straight while typing. Or perhaps get a trackball. – Kai Jun 19 '15 at 15:33
  • +1 for the trackball. As a tall person, I have encountered similar issues. I invested in a Logitech Marble Mouse and learned to use it left-handed and right-handed so I can switch from week to week if necessary. Made a big difference. – Laconic Droid Jun 19 '15 at 16:07
  • Also take a look at the the programmers bill of rights by Jeff Atwood. Great things to make your work life better. blog.codinghorror.com/the-programmers-bill-of-rights – RubberChickenLeader Jun 19 '15 at 16:12
  • Depending on your locale, your employer may be required by law to provide suitable arrangements in terms of furniture that is suited to your dimensions. – mrkwse Jun 19 '15 at 16:36
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Is it possible at your workplace would get you an adjustable height desk? If you can't sit at your desk in a good posture that will cause you all sorts of problems as you get older. If your current work environment doesn't allow you to sit in this position you should speak to your manager about changes to the work space that will solve the problem. It is in their best interests that you are able to work in comfort as you'll be more productive.

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    The one good thing about cube furniture is that it was the work of only a few minutes to unbolt my desktop from the brackets, rehang the latter a few inches higher, and then bolt the desktop back in place. – Dan Neely Jun 19 '15 at 22:48
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    I ended up getting my desk raised up (it's a cubicle, so the desk can be hammered out and put back in higher up). Thank you! – vaindil Feb 23 '16 at 19:55

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