What’s the biggest threat to your job as an engineer or 3D design professional? Some might say technology itself, which is automating even complex tasks. Others might point to competing professionals.
The reality is: it’s none of these.
The biggest threat to your ability is something all too common that most CAD users consider an unavoidable side effect of working in CAD: wrist pain.
Approximately 46 percent of CAD professionals reported their wrist pain as being so impactful that it interfered with their job performance. Consider: nearly half of industry pros are actively missing out on peak performance thanks to this issue.
While wrist pain in CAD is common, it doesn’t have to completely halt your workflow and ability. We’ve highlighted five simple ways you can prevent and relieve wrist pain.
1. Give Yourself a Break
While your total focus is important, you shouldn’t neglect to take a break. Sitting at a computer for too long can become harmful to your overall posture and contribute to aches in your wrists or arms.
2. Shake It Out
Stretching and ergonomic exercises are an important part in preventing arm and wrist pain. There are plenty of arm and wrist exercises that can be done right in your office in between projects.
One popular hand exercise, known as The Shake, takes only seconds and provides immediate relief. Simply shake out your hands in front of you. This helps relax the muscles in your hands and prevents the median nerve from cramping, ultimately preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
More Easy-to-Learn Stretches: The CAD Comfort Manual
3. Correct Your Posture
Poor posture while sitting at the computer all day has been linked to low energy levels, depression and spinal pain. If left untreated, back pain can worsen in your muscles and joints. Leaning on your elbows can add more stress to your forearms and wrists, causing more pain.
Correct your posture by sitting back against your chair with arms at a 90-degree angle. Consider investing in an exercise ball chair, adjustable desk or lumbar cushion to help improve your posture.
4. Adjust Your Workstation
In addition to correcting your posture, there are plenty of tools to add to your desk that can help reduce and relieve wrist pain. As you know, working in CAD requires many repetitive movements, which creates pain and strain. To fix the problem, many turn to wrist support pads or V-shaped keyboards.
5. Use a Two-Handed Workflow
Rather than putting all the strain on just one wrist, distribute the weight and work evenly between both hands. By using a tool like a 3D mouse, CAD users can achieve more natural, comfortable movement and cut down on wrist, arm and hand pain. In fact, 97 percent of 3D mouse users say using the device cut down on pain from prolonged CAD work.
For the ultimate two-handed workflow, look no further than the SpaceMouse Enterprise Kit. It includes the SpaceMouse Enterprise and CadMouse, which work seamlessly together to select and create, as well as a CadMouse Pad, twin-port USB hub and the 3DxWare 10 software driver.
Photo Credit: Owen Blacker