What is a Wrist Cushion?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Wrist cushions are padded devices that slip over the keyboard of a desktop computer. The purpose of the cushion is to provide additional support to the hands and wrists while the individual is typing. By promoting an ergonomic positioning for the wrist and forearm, the wrist cushion helps to ease stress on the wrist and minimize the chances for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wrist cushions might help people who spend a lot of time working on the computer.
Wrist cushions might help people who spend a lot of time working on the computer.

In design, the wrist cushion looks very much like a simple keyboard cover. The body of the cushion is sometimes constructed with clear plastic, making it possible to view the characters on the keys. More often, the design calls for a fabric-lined cushion that has a keyboard layout printed on the top of the padding. This allows users to strike the correct keys while still enjoying the support provided by the cushioning.

Fabric cushions can be washed by hand.
Fabric cushions can be washed by hand.

There are also leather versions of the wrist cushion on the market today. Like their fabric counterparts, the leather versions contain sufficient padding to promote proper alignment of the wrists and forearms. This in turn eases stress on the fingers and the wrists, allowing people to safely type for longer periods of time. Administrative personnel, transcriptionists, and writers often find that using this type of cushion prevents cramps in the fingers, a common complaint after a long day of typing.

Some people believe changing the layout of the keyboard, especially when used with wrist cushions and other devices, can reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries from typing.
Some people believe changing the layout of the keyboard, especially when used with wrist cushions and other devices, can reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries from typing.

Other benefits are also associated with the wrist cushion. Several designs can be placed into the freezer compartment before use; this allows the filler in the cushion to provide a pleasant sensation while also gently massaging the wrists during use. Because the body of the cushion is durable and flexible, it can also be used for quick stress relief by simply removing the cushion from the keyboard and using it as a squeeze toy.

Fabric cushions may be washed in a washing machine, but only on a gentle cycle.
Fabric cushions may be washed in a washing machine, but only on a gentle cycle.

Caring for a wrist cushion is a relatively simple task. Cushions covered with leather than be wiped clean and kept supply by applying the same type of leather cleaning products that are used for wiping the shells of leather jackets or purses. Fabric cushions can also be washed by hand or even placed into a washing machine on the gentle cycle. For some brands of the fabric cushions, air-drying is recommended instead of placing the device in a clothes dryer.

Both the leather and fabric designs of the wrist cushion can be purchased at many computer stores, as well as business supply stores and other local outlets that sell keyboard accessories. The cushion can also be found at a number of online retail outlets as well. While some designs are somewhat expensive, there are cheaper brands that work well for students and others who may be on a tight budget.

Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome may require bracing or surgery to relieve severe pain in the forearm.
Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome may require bracing or surgery to relieve severe pain in the forearm.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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