How to Use a Wrist Rest for Computer Mouse Why Need One
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It is not uncommon for mouse pads with elevated wrist rests for ergonomic desk accessories. Gel desks are popular because they allow people to rest their wrists instead of resting their elbows on hard surfaces. So, do wrist rests help? The ergonomics of a keyboard can be just fine without a wrist rest. Nonetheless, the more points of adjustment you have in your setup, the easier you'll find it to maintain good posture and position. Even though a wrist rest may not be necessary, it can make good ergonomics a little bit easier once you know how to use a wrist rest.
What is Mouse Wrist Rest?
Wrist rests are a cushion or wrist pad, providing cushioning or support for your wrists while typing on a computer. If your mouse pad includes an ergonomic wrist rest use support, your hand will rest in a more natural, curved wrist rest position, preventing unnecessary stress on your bones and muscles. With this pad, you can lift your wrist while using your computer mouse and keep your hands and wrists in a natural position.
Benefits of a Wrist Rest
Wrist rests may help keyboard users feel more comfortable when typing for long periods. The wrists are also less likely to feel tired and sore from prolonged keyboard use. Wrist rests can also potentially prevent this type of injury. For example, Carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by using wrist rests. You can buy standalone wrist rests, as well as keyboards with built-in wrist rests in addition to doing hand and wrist exercises. Several premium brands offer keyboards with wrist rests and elbow rest for desk built-in. The materials used in an ergonomic wrist rest range from plastic to resin to memory foam, gel to even wood. Some wrist rests provide more support than others, and not all wrist rests have the same benefits as shown in this wrist rest guide.
Soft polyurethane foam is made from memory foam and is soft yet durable, and prevents wrist pain from typing. The memory foam large desk pad wrist rest provides cushioning and sometimes conforms to the shape of the user's hand. Memory foam with gel-infused properties also offers better cooling. Heat-resisting gel beads or liquid are infused into this type of memory foam to absorb body heat.
In addition to providing firmer support, wooden wrist rests typically have a smoother surface and reduce friction. Wooden wrist rests last longer and are more resistant to odor and sweat than memory foam wrist rests.
These wrist rests are extremely comfortable due to their softness and ample support. These cushions aren't like memory foam because they don't mold to the shape of the hand. Instead, they are bouncy and soon return to their original shape. As well as not retaining heat, gel wrist rests are less likely to absorb sweat and odor while preventing wrist pain from gaming.
What's next in our wrist rest guide? While keying, users are likely to bend their wrists to a greater degree if they do not have wrist rests. Contact stress and irritation are increased on tendons and tendon sheaths as the angle of bend increases. Keying or high repetition can exacerbate this condition. The wrist can also be stressed with constant contact between hard or sharp components of the workstation while keying without a wrist rest. Typing with the wrist and palm supported could inhibit wrist motion and result in awkward wrist postures.
How to Use Your Wrist Rest Correctly
Now, let’s learn how to use a wrist rest! A neutral wrist position is where your wrists aren't bent upward or downward. An ergonomically-designed workstation should include any rest device if it is to be used. OSHA makes the following recommendations:
- While typing, your hands should remain free to move and elevated above the wrist/palm rest. The pad should rest on your ankle or palm, not your wrist when you rest your hand.
- A healthy computer workstation should include ergonomically-coordinated wrist and palm rests.
- Ensure the wrists maintain a neutral, in-line posture by adjusting the other components at the workstation (chair, desk, keyboard).
- Ensure that your wrist postures are as straight as possible while matching the wrist support to the keyboard's width, height, and slope.
- Support the wrists and palms with soft and round supports to minimize wrist pressure. Deep supports are recommended to be at least 3.8 cm (1.5 inches).
- It's important to have your hands elevated above the wrist/palm rest while typing. The pad must contact your heel or the palm of your hand rather than your wrist when you are resting.
- An ergonomically coordinated computer workstation includes wrist/palm rests if using a wrist rest.
- Workstation components should be adjusted, so the wrists remain neutral, straight to reduce wrist bending.
- Always keep wrist postures as straight as possible while matching the wrist support to the keyboard's width, height, and slope.
- Use wrist/palm supports that are rounded and relatively soft to reduce wrist pressure.
There are ways to reduce muscular tension when performing tasks involving holding shoulders, elbows, and arms forward while holding up the wrists (e.g., typing and micro-electronics assembly). Some other factors to consider side include:
- If the keyboard is located right next to the body, is it possible to hold onto your elbows and upper arms close to you (arms not extending outward past 45 degrees)?
- When using your keyboard, do you have any support (weight-bearing) for the arms (chair arms or wrist rests)?
- Are the keyboard positions and angle conducive to neutral wrist pose, i.e., not bent up/down or in the direction of the little finger, but straight ahead with forearms?
- Is your arm supported (wrist rest or chair arm) when making use of your mouse?
- The mouse placement allows you to have a neutral wrist pose (not bent up or down or sideways toward the little fingers with your hand in a linear line with the forearm)?
- Do you rest your wrists and arms on surfaces that have no sharp edges or edges with hard corners (armrests, wrist rests, desktops)?
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