Facing tight deadlines and pressures to innovate, engineers often spend long hours working in CAD. However, repetitive typing and clicking can put strain on your hands and wrists. If you do not take proper precautions to prevent pain, excessive straining can lead to stiffness, long-term injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome, which could ultimately jeopardize your career.
Below, we provide four exercises to reduce discomfort and prevent long-term injury while working in CAD.
Stretching can help prevent cramping and keep your wrists loose and relaxed while working in CAD. The spider stretch exercises the median nerve, which becomes irritated in individuals who have carpal tunnel syndrome.
To complete this exercise, hold your hands together in a prayer position. Then, spread your fingers apart, separating your palms while keeping the tips of your fingers together. Without separating your fingers, pull your hands back into the prayer position. Repeat this motion five to 10 times.
2. The Shake
According to The Arthritis Foundation, you should exercise your hands after every 15 minutes of computer mouse use to improve blood flow. The Shake is a simple exercise that keeps your median nerve from tightening up. For this exercise, simply shake your hands for one or two minutes periodically to keep the muscles in your hands from cramping throughout the day.
The University of Michigan recommends using the prayer stretch to help prevent wrist and hand discomfort. To compete this exercise, press you palms together in front of your chest. Then, lower your hands toward your waistline until until you feel a mild stretch under your forearms, keeping your palms pressed together. Hold this position for approximately 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise two to four times. With each hand, draw five clockwise and five counterclockwise circles using your two finger tips.
To further reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests practicing wrist circles. For this exercise, start by extending your index and middle fingers while closing your other fingers. Rotate your wrists in a circular motion in the air.
Invest in High-Tech Design Tools to Enhance Comfort and Convenience
High-performance tools are designed to enhance comfort and prevent wrist strain while working in CAD. The SpaceMouse Wireless Kit is built with comfort, precision and mobility top-of-mind.
The kit includes the SpaceMouse Wireless, which is designed to decrease hand travel and provide superior 3D navigation. Also included is the CadMouse Wireless, which features a dedicated middle mouse button and a portable, ergonomic design that supports your hand in a natural and comfortable position while you work. Users also receive the CadMouse Pad for smooth operation, a universal receiver for reliable data transmission, and 3DxWare 10 for peak performance. Together, these tools enable CAD users to design comfortably, more efficiently and with optimal precision.
Photo Credit: John Ward