What is the best hand position for typing? Answered

Improve your form.

Photo via Soumil Kumar

Mavis Beacon would say the correct form for typing is sitting up straight, with both feet planted on the floor, hands hovering just above the middle row of letters. Xennials were the first generation of young students who were required to learn how to type at school. But the computer software Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is in its thirties now, and people have become more adept at typing since its creation. With the rise of household personal computers, many people practice typing through various activities—drafting emails, writing blog posts, arguing on Facebook, raging in All Chat, and so on. 

But how do we know we’re all typing with the right form? Here is the best position for typing. 

Body position

Without the right posture and body position, the correct hand position won’t work as well. Ergonomics are an important part of the correct typing form, and crunching your neck or collapsing your chest can cause soreness in the knees, back, shoulders, and neck. 

Mavis Beacon was right about posture. It’s recommended that you should sit up straight in your chair, with the top of your monitor at your eye line. The goal is for your eyes to be resting at a very slight downward angle. You should be able to comfortably watch your monitor without tilting your head up or down. Feet should still be planted flat on the floor—no crossed legs. Elbows need to be open past a right angle, between 90 and 110 degrees. 

Hand and wrist position

Again, like Mavis Beacon always told beginners, hands, when typing, should be hovering with the fingers above the middle row of letters. This position results in wrists also hovering, which can become tiring after a long typing session. 

Some people use wrist rests, but it’s important to position your wrists correctly on the wrist rest. Digging into the wrist rest or relying on it too heavily can lead to bad form. Place the heel of your palm on the wrist rest. If your fingers are now hovering over the top row of letters, move the wrist rest away from the keyboard half an inch and try again. 

At first, typing with proper posture and hand position can be uncomfortable. But the more you practice the best form, the easier it will become. In the long run, not only will your typing skills improve, but your body will thank you.