A significant sector of the average workforce in the US works eight hours a day in front of a computer. Even with the current situation, the vast majority that now works from home still spend their time at their own desks.
While it may not seem physically straining, there are conditions that can develop when spending hours in front of a screen. One of those conditions is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the numbing or cramping of the hands and wrists due to too much strain. A popular way to prevent it from happening is by buying a wrist rest.
What are Wrist Rests For?
Wrist rests are often a foam block that people should put under their wrists while they type away on a keyboard. It is supposed to elevate the wrists so that the hands are curved upwards to type into the keyboard.
Do Wrist Rests Really Work?
To put it simply, it depends. There is no definitive yes or no. There may be some benefits for those who feel more comfortable with it, but it isn’t necessarily the beacon of carpal tunnel prevention.
OSHA’s Stance on Wrist Rests
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends using wrist rests for keyboard and mouse operating tasks, recognizing the potential risks they can prevent.
How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Using a Wrist Rest
It is all about the way you position yourself and your wrists to make them more comfortable.
The first thing to note is that your hands should be able to move freely when elevated above the wrist or palm rest while typing. When you rest, the heel or palm of your hand should be the parts resting, not your wrist.
The next thing to remember is to match the wrist support to the width, height, and slope of the front of the keyboard. Wrist or palm supports have to be soft yet firm. This support should be at least 1.5 inches deep.
Other Preventive Measures
Other than the wrist rest, the one thing that will help your entire body battle stiffness is stretching. When you’ve worked for hours straight, make sure to get up at least once and stretch. It’s essential to give your body a break too.
Once you’ve fully stretched, sit down with the proper posture, as opposed to slouching in front of a screen. This helps take away strain from certain parts of the body, including your hands and wrists.
Wrist rests are an item that tries to cater to desk job workers out there. If you’ve been typing on a desk for ages, it might appeal to you. While they do have their benefits, wrist rests won’t precisely be enough to prevent carpal tunnel.
You need to give your hands and wrist a break, stretch when you can, and make the necessary adjustments. If your hands do start to cramp up and exhibit the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, seek professional help.
For proper and professional carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, visit the North Florida Hand and Wrist Center. Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez are expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons that run a facility dedicated to providing patients with the best care possible. Call us now to set an appointment.