Wrist Rests: Do I need it?
Are you experiencing wrist pain while working from home? You're not alone! Many people are also struggling with this issue. But the solution might be simpler than you think - it could be all about how you position and support your wrists in your workspace.
Why You Might Need a Wrist Rest
Typing on a computer keyboard often leads to awkward wrist positions, where people tend to raise their shoulders, tense their arms, and put pressure on their wrists. This can cause various issues such as tennis elbow, tenosynovitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Wrist rests can help by providing a comfortable resting surface for your wrists, reducing pressure on your wrists, and preventing you from raising your shoulders.
Potential Problems with Wrist Rests
However, using a wrist rest incorrectly can lead to further issues. Heavy and frequent contact on a wrist rest can still irritate wrist structures and cause injuries. Inappropriate sizes and heights of the wrist support relative to the keyboard can also cause awkward hand positions and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendon injuries, and tenosynovitis.
Should You Get a Wrist Rest?
Whether you're working in an office or from home, a wrist rest can be beneficial if chosen wisely. Before buying a wrist rest, make sure to consider your overall desk arrangement. Your desk should allow you to distribute your weight evenly to prevent heavy wrist contact on the surface. Your arms should rest at a 90-110 degree angle, preventing you from raising your shoulders.
When choosing a wrist rest, opt for one that is soft and without sharp edges. Make sure it matches your keyboard's width, height, and slope to allow your wrist to be in a neutral (straight) position. For flatter designed keyboards, you may not need a wrist rest, but keyboards with increased height and slope will require thicker support.
Additionally, make sure the contact on your wrist rest is with the heels of your palms rather than your wrists. Don't forget that a separate wrist rest for your mouse can also be used.
It's important to remember that even the smallest injuries can lead to bigger issues down the line. So, take care of your health by doing a risk assessment of your workspace and investing in a good ergonomic workstation. Happy typing!