Will Posture Affect Your Typing Speed Test?

Whether you are looking to improve your speed on a typing speed test for a job application or just for your own benefit there are certain things that will have an impact on your results.  One of these is your posture.  As someone who has typed for many years - starting before the days of the computer or even the electric typewriter - ooops showing my age ;-), one of the things that was drummed into me was how I sat.

Are you sitting comfortably?

When I was a student teacher I remember joining a class for teaching practice and one of the students decided that she was going to do the lesson slouched back in her chair with her feet up on the desk!  Now she was certainly sitting comfortably for her, but not for someone who wants to produce a high and fast standard of typing.  So how should you sit to produce your best typing test?  Here's a check list to help you out:

Eyes - when looking straight ahead these should be level with the top of the computer screen (ie about level with the top tool bar).  Although lap tops are great for allowing you to get out and about try not to spend all your time on them as they encourage you to look down at the screen.  Long term this can cause misalignment of vertebrae in your neck and various others issues including back pain.  If you do use a lap top make sure you have a docking station at your home/office desk so that you can plug in an external keyboard and screen.  Only use it as a lap top for shorter periods when you are on the move.
Sit with your back straight - make sure your chair has a good lumbar support to prevent lower back pain.
Have your feet flat on the floor - if you are small you may not be able to have your feet flat and be at the right height for your arms.  If this is the case find something stable to place your feet on.
Arms - these should hang relaxed with your elbows close to your sides.  The height of your chair should allow your forearms and wrists to be in a straight line.  You can use a wrist rest, which sits just in front of your keyboard to help support your wrists and keep them at the correct height.
Keyboard - make sure your keyboard is correctly placed in front of you.  Your index fingers should rest comfortably on the f and j keys.
Take regular breaks  - typing non stop will eventually cause pain.  At the very least you will become strained and as a result slow down.  Get up and walk around - you will come back refreshed and able to type at a quicker speed.

Here's a site I found with some general information about posture to help keep you free from problems.

Typing Speed Test - Posture

Check it out and let me know what you think ...