Investing in ergonomic equipment, does not always mean buying fancy new chairs or sit-to-stand desks. A cost-effective investment into peripherals as basic as keyboard pads and mouse pads, can provide a high return on investment for employers.

Using a keyboard pad and a mouse pad is highly beneficial for reducing contact pressure and maintaining proper ergonomic hand, wrist, and forearm positioning for employees that spend their day working at a computer. These pads provide several benefits, including reducing strain on the wrists, arms, and shoulders, and improving posture, comfort, and circulation. According to a study published in the Journal of Ergonomics, a keyboard pad with a wrist rest can help improve typing speed and accuracy while reducing discomfort and fatigue in the wrists and arms (Kim et al., 2014). A mouse pad with a smooth surface can help prevent injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome by reducing the need for repetitive motions and improving the accuracy and precision of the mouse movements (Crawford et al., 2013). 

The benefits of investing in a keyboard pad and a mouse pad include:

  1. Reduced strain: Both types of rest pads reduce strain on your wrists, arms, and shoulders by providing a more natural anatomical and ergonomic typing and mousing position. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  2. Improved posture: A wrist rest and keyboard pad keep your hands and wrists in a neutral position, reducing the risk of developing wrist and hand strain and the resultant pain. A mouse pad supports an anatomical natural angle for your wrist, preventing discomfort and reducing the risk of injury.
  3. Improved circulation and reduced contact pressure: Using a padded wrist rest improves circulation in your hands and wrists by reducing pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. This may reduce numbness, tingling, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
  4. Increased comfort: Both types of resting pads provide for a more comfortable surface to work on, reducing fatigue and improving your overall typing and mousing experience. This allows you to work for longer and more comfortably without experiencing discomfort, strain, or pain.

According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, implementing ergonomic interventions in the workplace resulted in a median reduction of 56% in lost workdays due to WMSDs, (Work-related musculoskeletal disorders) as well as an average 0.5% increase in productivity (Kuiper et al., 2004). Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Safety Research found that providing employees with ergonomic equipment such as keyboards and mouse pads reduced the likelihood of developing WMSDs by up to 56% (Kennedy et al., 2003).

By investing in ergonomic equipment, as cost-effective and easy to implement as keyboard pads and mouse pads, employers can improve the health and well-being of their employees. These ergonomic peripheral items reduce the risk of injury and lost workdays and furthermore increase productivity. This should result in a positive return on investment through increased productivity, reduced healthcare costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased employee satisfaction and morale.

References:

Kennedy, C. A., et al. (2003). Implementation of a participatory ergonomic intervention in an office workplace. Journal of Safety Research, 34(2), 143-151.

Kuiper, J. I., et al. (2004). Effectiveness of an ergonomic intervention on productivity, quality, comfort and musculoskeletal complaints. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 46(6), 580-590.

Crawford, J. O., et al. (2013). The impact of mouse pad design on wrist posture, comfort, and movement variability during computer mouse use. Work, 45(2), 229-235.

Kim, J. W., et al. (2014). Effects of using keyboard with wrist rest on typing performance and muscular load in the upper extremity. Journal of Ergonomics, 4(2), 1-5.

Written by Nafiesha Hendricks 

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