Easy and inexpensive ways to have a more ergonomic workstation and save your wrists

One of the biggest issues in the modern office today is that of back pain. We’ve talked about it a lot in other articles on this site, but of course, the back isn’t the only part of the body to suffer when we’re sat at our desks day in, day out.

We also need to consider our wrists, neck and eyes.

In this article we’ll look at ways of looking after our wrists.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In the last few years, many people have complained of this condition which causes pain, numbness and pins and needles in the hands and fingers of those affected. Although there are many known causes for it, one of them is strenuous, repetitive work with the hand (source: NHS Direct

Such repetitive work could be the constant typing we do these days as part of our life in a modern office. Nearly every desk has a computer as they’re used for much more than just computational tasks such as accounts. These days everyone needs access for email, CRM software, research etc. and so we spend much of our time typing away sat in the same position for hours on end.

This constant, repetitive typing could be responsible for the syndrome occurring more over the past decade and some people are having to resort to surgery to relieve the pain.

How can I avoid it?

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are a few tips to help you avoid this painful condition. Bear in mind that this isn’t medical advice and if you think you are suffering then you should immediately see your GP.


As the condition is caused by repetition, the key here is to do things that break the pattern and wrist exercises are great for this. Also, stretching often during the day can help ease the strain on the joint.

Sometimes, just getting up from your desk for five minutes every hour and taking a small stroll around the office is enough to keep the joints supple. Even if you get up to make a cuppa, you’ll be helping yourself stay healthy.

Gel mats

These have come on in recent years and they give your wrists a good position to work from when typing. The gel pad means you have a soft place to wrest your wrists to reduce impact when hitting the keys.

Some of them are built into keyboards, especially ergonomically designed keyboards that are positioned in such a way so that the wrists are at an angle to each other.

Gel mouse mats

Mouse mats used to be absolutely essential simply because computer mice had very specific tolerances when it came to the surface they were used on. However, as mice became more forgiving, people are simply using them on the desk or even their knee.

However a good mouse mat with a gel support will keep the wrist raised at a good angle to stop stress on the joints.


Although carpal tunnel syndrome can be cured (in fact the symptoms generally go away after a period of rest), a bit of exercise and the correct equipment can be all you need to stop getting it in the first place.

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