Let’s talk about your hands. Due to the pandemic, many of us lucky enough to continue working from home experienced the unfortunate consequences of a remote life: blurred hours and boundaries, a more sedentary lifestyle, 24/7 office mates, etc. The Mental Health Effects – Depression , burnout , anxiety – is well documented, but there is also the physical toll that more than 40 hours behind a desk can take. And even if we go back to hybrid or fully in-office workplaces, it’s unclear whether those weeks of tense shoulders, tapping keyboards, and hours spent pushing mice across our desks will change.
We know that injuries from repetitive movements, such as carpal tunnel or tennis elbow, are not exclusive to knowledge workers. But if you’re sitting at a desk and want to be strategic in your return to the office, there are a few gadgets we’ve found to be helpful for avoiding week-end aches and pains.
Here are some of our tried and true favorites.
[Photo: courtesy Sagely]Sagely Naturals Extra Strength Relief Cream
In 2015, founders Kerrigan Behrens and Kaley Nichol created a more accessible brand of CBD topicals using the clean, organic ingredients and spa-like branding of their Sagely Naturals brand. While their current product line extends beyond CBD – a non-CBD collection for Target released last year – the real gems of their range contain high levels of cooling, minty menthol. And when combined with 750mg of CBD (5x their original), I’ve found the Extra Strength Relief & Recovery Cream to be a magical, icy, soothing tonic that sinks into the skin quickly, providing almost instant relief. I like to lather it in my wrists and hands and then on my temples and behind my neck. Just don’t touch your eyes!
[Photo: courtesy Therabody]Therabody Wave Solo
I bought a Therabody Wave Solo for my partner last holiday season but find myself stealing it often. The small rubber sphere — which is about the size of a bowling ball with a candle pin — is designed for precise muscle relaxation (think: right into your hamstring or between the curve of your shoulder and pecs). But there’s something very satisfying about grabbing it between your hands as if you’re waiting for the Golden Snitch to open. The three levels of shockingly powerful vibrations help stimulate blood flow to stiff and aching hands and feel great when rolled on a desk under your forearm. (Dare I say it? It’s even better than the Wave Duo.)
[Photo: courtesy Lyric]Lyrical Stimulator
Lyric released their stylish massage gun late last year and offered a different take within the category: a powerful percussive massage that uses rhythm, reflexes between intensity levels, to soothe and loosen aching muscles. The device also has a small color touchscreen that guides users through various techniques, showing where the device is pressed and how to move it over the skin.
[Photo: courtesy Microsoft]Microsoft Sculpt ergonomic keyboard and keyboard
Ergonomic keyboards are a fairly inexpensive, passive way to keep your wrists aligned (or in proper alignment) all day long. The Microsoft Sculpt keyboard is curved and the keys are split in the middle, so your hands and forearms sit at a more natural, relaxed angle while typing.
[Photo: courtesy Grovemade]Grovemade Leather and Wood Keyboard Wrist Rest
I am a big fan of the cozy desk/cosy gamer community on TikTok. Surrounding my desk with pieces of citrine and carefully crafted ceramics is actually my personality, so Govemade’s beautiful desk accessories are the perfect complement to my aggressive mechanical rainbow keyboard. Their Portland-made, design-forward stands, leather wrist rests, and merino wool desk mats are a go-to option for a soothing, comfortable pillow and booster that looks great and makes a real difference.
Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse
I thought vertical mice looked crazy, but the impact they make over time is undeniable, at least in my experience. I recently traded in my beloved Anchor for a cute pebble-shaped pink mouse, which I love but my shoulder doesn’t. After just a week of mule and I can see a significant difference. A vertical mouse holds your wrist at a more natural angle as you click around all day. Yes, the repetitive motion exists, but there is less pressure on your wrist while doing this.
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