Why use a keyboard wrist rest? Do wrist rests help? Are wrist rests bad for you?
These are just some of the questions people ask about typing at their desktop PC.
I’ll state my opinion straight out of the gate: the number 1 mistake many people make when typing is not using a keyboard wrist rest at all. Here I’ll reveal why that is, plus I’ll share with you the 2 biggest mistakes people make when they do use a wrist rest.
I’ve had my own troubles with typing. I used to get aches and pains in my hands, wrists and forearms. I also had occasional feelings of weakness in my arms, or numbness in my little finger (neither of which are good signs!).
Of course, my journey back to a healthy working day wasn’t fixed magically by dealing with this one issue. It really happened through a complete ergonomic overhaul of my desk and work habits.
Nevertheless, using a wrist rest played a small, but important part of that review.
The best typing position allows your wrists to keep straight while typing. This allows the muscles and tendons in your forearms, wrists and hands to work easily together and prevents strain.
The trouble is that typing without some kind of support lets your hands and arms wander around of their own volition. Inevitably, this leads (however unconsciously) to bent wrists.
Typing with bent or twisted wrists creates tension in those same muscles and tendons, tension that they weren’t designed for. If you’ve ever tried lifting something heavy with your wrist bent you’ll know what I mean.
So, without a wrist rest you end up with:
So do yourself a favour and get one.
I recommend Kensington or Fellowes wrist rests. I currently have a foam Kensington rest at home and a Fellowes gel version at work. – No particular reason for either, but I have used both brands over the years and never had any trouble with them.
So if the #1 mistake is not using a wrist rest, what are the other two?
Here they are:
Most people put their wrist rest right next to the keyboard.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but 9 times out of 10, that’s wrong. With your fingers in the correct typing position on the keyboard, the wrist rest ends up under your knuckles or the middle of your hands.
Depending on the size of your hands, you’ll either get no support, or fingers curled over themselves while you type. You’re also more likely to have your wrists bending backwards.
Even with a correctly positioned rest, some people lean heavily on them while they are typing.
Again, this can be a bad move, because it places pressure on your wrists and forearms.
It’s fine to rest on the er, rest when you stop typing, but it’s best to type gently on it for best effect.
By now, you may be thinking, “Ok Tim, but how am I supposed to get this right?”. Well, I’m glad you asked me that, because I have good news: I’ve created a special upgrade just for you.
I’m calling it How To Use Your Keyboard Wrist Rest: A quick and easy guide to prevent wrist and forearm pain while typing. It’ll help you to position and use your wrist rest in the right way for you.
You’ll avoid the mistakes we talked about in this post, as well as some others you’ll discover inside. I’ll also reveal a secret you should know: something that the manufacturers don’t tell you!
To summarise, this FREE How-To guide:
Did I mention it’s FREE? 🙂
Get your copy by clicking here:
Prevent Wrist And Forearm Pain
I'm Tim Bader, founder of ErgonomicToolbox.com and the Ergonomic Toolbox training course. I am a writer, author, blogger and church leader, and I help people to overcome RSI and live comfortably with technology. When I'm not writing, helping or training people, I live at home with my wife, two teenage kids and Playstation.
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