By Tom Fontana, MSPT
The word “rest” implies a brief respite from an activity. A “Rest Room?” A place that should only be visited quickly. (If not, you might want to see a doctor about that.) A “Rest Stop?” Also, should be a quick in and out. If not, you are either a trucker or doing something creepy (or both).
So, what are we to make of a “Wrist Rest?” As the name implies, it should be a place where you briefly place your wrists after typing but NOT a place where you leave them long-term while typing. Evolutionarily, this makes sense as we were not built to bear weight through the underside of our wrists. Sustained, unwanted pressure can lead to nerve compression and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The proper position of your wrists while typing is to have your upper arms along your sides in a relaxed position, elbows bent at 90 degrees, wrists in neutral and fingers dangling over the keys. It can be tiring to hold your arms in this position for extended periods so by all means give your biceps a break (or wait for that writer’s block to clear!) by briefly setting your wrists down on a padded wrist rest, but don’t leave them there too long!