Healthy Computing: Keystrokes

Do you feel increasing discomfort from mousing as the day passes? Do your
shoulders ache and your hands feel cramped? Do you keep your hand poised
over the mouse in anticipation of the next move, finger ready to jump at
your command? When doing repetitive motions that require concentration we
often set into play a pattern of get set, go in which we increase muscle
tension and hold our breath. Allow relaxed rhythmic breathing and
dissipate muscle tension when you replace mouse movements with KEYSTROKES.


Observe how you hold tension in your arm by keeping your index finger
ready to click at the first opportunity. Instead, drop your hand to your
lap, breathe and use some common keystrokes to substitute for mouse
commands. Implement some of the following (PC Windows users):

  • Use arrow keys (up, down, left and right) and/or page up or page down to
    control cursor movement.

  • When filling in forms, use the Tab key to move from box to box; use
    Ctrl and Tab to move backward from box to box.

  • Use [Ctrl S] to save a document.
  • Use [Ctrl P] to print a document.
  • Use [Ctrl N] to open a new document.
  • Use Alt plus the 1st letter of the pop-down menu (such as F for File) to
    access the sub-menu items. Then, press the letter of the sub-menu item
    to perform the function.

  • Use [Alt F4] to exit an application.
  • When shutting down the computer press the Windows key then, U Enter

Get to know the common sub-menu items you frequently use and make a list
of the keystrokes that can be used instead of the mouse.

Regardless, make sure that you take micro-breaks every 60 seconds (1 to 2
seconds), take meso-breaks every 10-15 minutes and large movement breaks
every hour.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for
personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing
Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written
consent of the copyright holders

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Written by Katherine HughesGibney

Explore Wellness in 2021