Most office jobs require employees to work with computers, which typically involves rigorous typing on a keyboard. For those employees, they are required to do repetitive finger and hand movements as they type consistently for 8-hour shifts.
Employees use computers to:
- Type out email correspondence
- Type out notes during a meeting
- Schedule upcoming meetings
- Research on the internet
- Complete tasks necessitating typed documents
Whether to complete any of the tasks above or for other purposes, computers are one of the most essential office tools that most employees utilize on a daily basis.
However, can too much computer use, or typing to be more precise, cause pain or discomfort with arthritis? A 2009 study revealed that computer use does significantly affect arthritis, which could limit a person’s ability to perform office work1.
However, is there a possibility that arthritis may be result of excessive typing?
Can Typing Too Much Cause Arthritis?
Although there may be numbness on your wrists and hands due to poor circulation or neurological issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome when you type, the answer to whether typing can cause arthritis is not as straightforward as you may think. There are many intricate factors that may contribute to that notion, but to fully understand the answer, you must understand the question.
Firstly, let’s talk about arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
There are multiple forms of arthritis, and below are the most common types:
- Degenerative Arthritis (also known as Osteoarthritis)
- Inflammatory Arthritis
- Infectious Arthritis
- Metabolic Arthritis
To keep this blog short and on point, we will be focusing on Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is defined as an inflammation of the joints as a result of wear and tear of the cartilage, which is the tissue that lines the bones to allow mobility and prevent the grinding of those bones on each other. It is a common condition for middle aged and elderly individuals as our bodies begin to wear. Along with aging, the condition can originate from genetics (condition passed down from your family) or due to overuse (heavy physical activities or traumatic injuries affecting the joints – think of a baseball catchers knees).
So does typing cause arthritis?
Yes and no. Although there is a possibility, it is incredibly unlikely to develop arthritis due to typing on a daily basis. Remember, arthritis is caused by heavy physical activities and typing is most certainly considered a light activity.
You are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome when typing too much rather than arthritis. According to another 2009 study, not only are people susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of typing, but also as a result of poor positioning of the wrist2.
What should I do if I have arthritis?
If you have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, visit a pain management specialist at Healthpointe. Our pain management specialists offers customized care to help you overcome your acute or chronic pain. In the mean time, you can also try gentle exercises for your wrist to alleviate the pain.
For more information about our pain management program or to make an appointment, visit Healthpointe.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY DR. ROMAN SHULZE