Are wrist rest actually important for gamers? The answer is yes.
We asked teen gamers around the ages of 15-17 if they used one - we learned none of them used wrist rests, but they actually should be. Gamers that use wrist rests reduce their chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome or RSI (repetitive strain injury). This is when you usually get a cramp or a pain in your wrist from playing too much. Have you noticed after a long game, when you take your hands off the keyboard or mouse and roll it around to fix the aching in your wrist? This is probably because you are starting to get symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, which is related to RSI.
So what are some things you can do to help you fix that. There are some exercises you can do in between games to help you relax your wrist after a long match. One thing you can do is to flex your fingers. Move your joints to allow your fingers to relax if they have been holding a controller for a long time or stretch them out if you have been keeping your hands on the keyboard for a while. Another thing you can do to help relax your wrist is to move it in circular motions going clockwise, then counterclockwise. Allowing your muscles to relax with these techniques can prevent you from getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
Check out some additional tips and wrist exercises here. But what if there was an easier option rather than taking the time after every single hour to relax your wrist? Well, there is. You can invest in a wrist rest to help you relax your wrist as you are playing to avoid straining your muscles.
Wrist rests are helpful because they sit in front of your keyboard and allow your hands to be elevated rather than bend at an upward angle. When you are not moving your hands to type and only clicking a few keys in the same place, it allows your wrist to strain and causes that aching you get after a while. The wrist rest will allow blood to flow to your hands properly instead of straining them on a hard desk surface, as well as relieve the pressure around your wrist and palm.
So, what type of material is best for a wrist rest? Foam wrist rests are usually best because they are more comfortable than other materials such as rubber or wood, and work to relieve the pressure on your wrist and distribute it throughout the wrist rest so your hands won’t feel as heavy. Foam wrist rests also last longer and will support your hands for a longer period of time. Gel wrist rests are also a good option because they do the job of supporting your wrist with a soft supportive surface, and many provide the additional benefit of a cooling effect. Yes, foam and gel wrist rests are often more expensive than others, but in the end to protect your hands, it will be worth it.
Our Whirlwind FX Padded Wrist Rests are constructed with plush, ergonomic memory foam to offer the best breathability and performance under heavy use. Choose between two thickness options to achieve the optimal height of your wrists relative to your keyboard. They also lower the risk of damaging your keyboard, unlike gel wrist rests which when punctured could create a mess. Plus, cleaning it is a breeze, just put some detergent on a sponge and in a circular motion rub the top surface. Rinse off with water and leave to dry.
For most gamers, it will take a little time to get used to the idea of a wrist rest because it might not be as comfortable as they initially thought. Give it a chance. After a few days, you'll begin to notice how comfortable it is to rest your hands on something elevated and it will be easier to use your keyboard during longer games and reduce wrist discomfort.
Overall, getting a foam or gel wrist rest is a good idea because they support your wrists best and will last for years. You should be investing in a wrist rest, especially if you game from a young age, because chronic strain will lead to RSI in the future which can prevent you from doing a lot with your hands. You might not think it is a big deal now, but after a while you might not be able to hold a glass of water or even drive a car. Invest in your wrists, use a wrist rest and game for a lifetime.