Many people have desk jobs that require them to be working on a computer for hours at a time. If you’re not careful, this can take a toll on your body. Repetitive motions associated with a desk job, like typing, can cause your wrists to weaken and create stiffness in your joints. This could lead to serious injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome but, being aware of your posture and wrist position can help you avoid wrist injury and pain that is commonly caused from working at a desk for long hours. We’ll also share some exercises and tips to help your wrists and hands stay strong while helping to eliminate pain associated with your daily tasks.
Breaks at work are important for your wrist and hand health. This means taking a break from typing and other repetitive motions for your wrists and hands. We recommend you reserve a few minutes every half hour or so to read or review something, giving your hands and wrists a break. This also gives you a few minutes to practice exercises targeted at stretching and strengthening your wrists and hands.
It’s important to keep your wrist in a neutral position while typing, writing, and moving a mouse. This means keeping your wrists in a straight line from your hands to your arms. Raising your wrists too high or resting them on the desktop will increase the amount of stress on your wrists and increase your risk for serious injuries.
Poor posture causes poor circulation. Slouching in your chair can decrease the amount of blood flow to your wrists and hands. This causes extra strain to muscles and joints that are already being overworked if you’re not careful. Being aware of your posture and self-correcting when necessary can help you avoid pain in your wrists and hands.
- Squeeze a tennis or stress ball firmly for 5-10 seconds.
- While seated, place your palms face up under a desk or table. Press upwards against the bottom of the desk. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Make a fist. Release your hand and fan out your fingers, stretching them as far as you can. Repeat five to 10 times.
- Place your forearm on your desk with your hand hanging off the edge, palm down. Move the hand upward until you feel a gentle stretch. Return to the starting position. Repeat the same motions with the elbow bent at your side, palm facing up.
These simple exercises can help increase strength in your wrists and hands, which will help you continue to succeed in your career, pain free.