Do your wrists and hand ache after a long day of working on the computer? Did you figure that this was just a hazard of the job and that there isn’t anything you can do to help make it any better?
What if we told you that there was a way to reduce that achy feeling in your wrist and fingers at the end of the day? By using an ergonomic mouse pad, you could reduce the pain and pressure that makes your hands hurt so much at the end of the day.
Here’s how some of the best ergonomic mouse pads can help you find relief during those long days typing on a computer and relieve the wrist strain you feel at night.
What Does Ergonomic Mean?
Before we go into how an ergonomic mouse pad can help you, we need to fill you in on what the term “ergonomic” even means.
Ergonomics is all about designing your space to promote comfort and posture. It’s the scientific study of understanding how humans interact with the physical world around them, then applying that information and data into creating solutions for people in the workspace.
This means designing furniture and other things to encourage good posture at work. In turn, this also makes the workspace more comfortable, as well.
The Dangers of Working on a Computer All Day
When you think of working a desk job, you probably have heard words like “cushy” or “comfy” thrown around. You may not think of it as a very physically demanding job when compared to things like hard labor or construction, but you can still put a lot of pressure on your forearms, wrists, and hands.
Though it’s true these jobs aren’t as risky, there are still health hazards associated with working at a desk all day. There’s, of course, the eye strain from staring at a desktop, the lower back issues that arise from sitting in an uncomfortable chair, the neck and spine issues from looking at odd angles.
And then, there are the physical tolls it takes on your hands and wrists. Let’s take a look at some of the most common and concerning hand and wrist injuries that can come from typing on a computer all day and how you can better your wrist support.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most common issue that we hear about when we consider injuries or issues caused by overusing our hands is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in your arm and wrist gets compressed or pinched. This becomes problematic because this nerve controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and all of your fingers except for your pinky finger. This is also compared to getting tendonitis in your wrist.
It presents as a soreness, pinching feeling, or tingling in any of your fingers or your wrist. It can cause a shocking pain that travels all the way up to your arm from your fingers, even causing numbness or loss of feeling sometimes.
Putting too much strain on your wrist, like you do when holding your hands at an odd angle at the mouse, leads to this painful syndrome.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Another issue that can eventually arise from overusing your hands and wrists is a repetitive strain injury, also known as an RSI.
A repetitive strain injury is an injury, such as a fracture, sprain, or muscle strain caused by doing a task over and over. Think of it as a stress fracture or wrist fatigue. If you play a sport that causes repeated minor trauma to your feet, like jumping hurdles, it eventually compounds into a major problem sometimes.
In the instance of getting one of these injuries at the desk, the process is the same. Typing on the computer for a few hours is fine, but the more and more you do it, the higher the risk of pain or injury.
More Arthritis Pain
Though it usually isn’t caused by typing or using a mouse, arthritis pain can get worse if you sit at a computer and overuse your wrists and fingers.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints which causes constant pain and achiness in your joints, like your knuckles, wrists, and knees. This inflammation almost always gets worse with use since your joints don’t have time to rest and calm down.
If you have a poor setup at your computer, the extra strain on your fingers and wrists can cause your arthritic pain to worsen.
What Is an Ergonomic Mouse Pad?
So what exactly is an ergonomic mouse pad, then?
An ergonomic mousepad is a mouse pad that has a raised area on the back near where your wrist would be that adds a wrist cushion and a keyboard wrist rest. This raised area is usually made from a soft or memory foam or a gel, which you can pick based on personal preference. The variations of types of gel wrist rest give your wrist a durable rubber base fabric to rest on while working.
You rest the heel of your hand or wrist on this area of the mouse pad, and it provides support with its smooth surface while you scroll around using your mouse on your laptop or monitor. The keyboards come in either wired or wireless designs, which can be helpful if you are looking to avoid using batteries or want to take the keyboard on the go easily.
How Does It Help?
How does this memory foam mouse pad help to alleviate the pains and strains of your working day? It does this in two different ways.
Prevents Contact Stress
Your wrist pain is made worse by the fact that it usually is resting on a hard surface like your desk.
When you have support on your mouse pad with memory foam cushions, your wrist is making contact with a softer surface. This means less bruising and less pain while using your computer mouse.
Holds Your Hand at a Neutral Angle
When you leave your wrist resting on your desk while you use your mouse, it’s stuck at an upward-facing angle, creating added strain.
With an ergonomic mouse pad, this angle is eliminated, and your wrist is held level to the mouse while it holds a neutral position.
Use an Ergonomic Mouse Pad for Wrist Relief Today
If you’re suffering from hand and wrist discomfort at work, take steps to make your workspace more comfortable and healthy by choosing the type of mouse that can add new dimensions to your self-care.
Using something like a set of armrests or an ergonomic mouse pad to protect your arms and hands from the stresses of working at a desk. The gel mouse pad makes them the optical mouse to help relieve the pain you get at work. The lightweight and compact designs make it easy to pack your precise mouse pad with you to work.
Ergonomic postures ∧ movements. We need to move, but movements are not the same. | Humanics
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, and Prevention | WebMD
Repetitive Strain Injury: How to prevent, identify, and manage RSI | University of Michigan