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I used an identical zero gravity chair and a lap keyboard. After about 8 months, I developed serious issues with my wrists (pain all the time)

I went back to a traditional setup with an ergonomic split keyboard so my wrists were completely straight, and my wrists only slowly recovered.

I'm now on 6 months of not using a computer at all and finally feeling close to 100%

My advice is leave ergonomics up to people who know what they are doing

I wonder how much of the wrist pain has to do with diet and exercise. In my teens and early twenties I had chronic wrist pain. Now in my mid twenties I've been doing weight training that includes wrist/grip strength exercises (wrist curls, dead hangs, plate pinches) and making sure I get enough protein. The wrist pain is gone and hasn't come back for years.

The reason I'm mentioning protein is that apparently joints are the first place the body looks when we don't get enough protein. I didn't really watch what I ate when I was younger and realize now that I definitely wasn't eating enough protein.

I'm not advocating for some extreme weight training regimen, but maybe it's worth seeing a physical therapist and telling them about the wrist problems you were having and asking them for exercises to help strengthen your wrists.

Well, like I said, after being AFK for 6 months I've made a recovery that felt unimaginable when I was at a computer every day. So i'd guess it was 10 hours a day on a computer still.

But since you speculated, I was on 120-150g protein per day, and I am now on 80-100g with 10 hours of hiking (very little wrist exercise, all in one direction) per day.

I had sore wrists from overuse for about 3 years. It cleared up when I started cross country skiing and jogging. It took about a year to clear up. This was 20 years ago and it hasn't bothered me since. I do make a point to take breaks, exercise including weightlifting. I also eat more protein now relative to when I had the issue.

I don't think it has much to do with it. I've been working out and am in pretty good shape and I have chronic wrist pain due to many years of repetitive manual labor involving my wrist. And recently I've also started to feel pain in my right hand from using the trackpad so much... will go back to a mouse soon.

Do you do any wrist/grip work? It took me several months just to do small increases in grip strength. I could only do 5lb wrist curls and 20 seconds pinching a 10lb plate. Dead hangs didn't come until later and that was also very slow to progress.

Try a wacom tablet. The only thing that worked for my wrist pain

I have some anecdata in support of your comment.

Both of my wrists were broken in my youth on separate occasions. Since then my wrists would ache when the weather changed, or when I spent too much time typing at the computer, or did certain physical activities like pushups.

The computing pain I mostly ignored, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't interfere with my life as I became increasingly immersed in programming and computers in general. It worried me that as I aged this career path would be a dead end, or one requiring chronic pain medication, because of my wrists.

But in my late 20s-early 30s I became interested in nutrition as my weight had been slowly climbing over the years and it was starting to noticably affect my overall quality of life. After my weight corrected itself with just an improved diet, I had a renewed interest in physical activities because being physical was so fun again becoming the same weight I was at ~17 years old, having lost ~26% of my weight in just a few months. Simple things like standing up had become entertainingly easy, running, jumping, everything was so easy and pleasant that I wanted to go for a run just to experience the ease of it.

The interest in physical activities escalated into a daily exercise routine, becoming curious about improving my performance beyond that of my ~17 year old self. Not wanting to acquire a bunch of heavy and expensive gear I'd have to store and move, I ended up doing just calisthenics and pushups became a major component of my morning ritual. For a year my wrists were the limiting factor in how many pushups I could do. I'd have sharp pains and aches well before any muscles were fatigued in that exercise. But I just kept doing them every day, with the reps slowly increasing as the months went by, adding multiple sets to morning and evening.

At some point, the wrist pain was no longer the limiting factor in my daily pushups and I was limited entirely by muscle fatigue and cardio instead. A nice side effect of this was that my wrists stopped hurting at the computer too.

I'm over 40 now, still doing hundreds of pushups daily, and my wrists have never resumed hurting. It's been really nice! Still ~165lbs too. Pushups have become the core of my daily routine, it's like brushing my teeth at this point. This experience has led me to suspect most sedentary people could achieve a relatively fit existence by just controlling their diet and spending as little as a few minutes every day doing pushups before they shower.

Hey, author here. Sorry that happened to you, glad you're on the mend. What kind of keyboard did you use? A normal keyboard is indeed going to be really hard on the wrists in this posture, since the hands need to come together. Normal form factor keyboards are just ergonomically awful imho. With a Kinesis advantage keyboard it seems quite comfortable to me, as the key wells are spaced quite wide.

That is very good to know, though, I've updated the post to emphasize that standard keyboards won't work well with this posture.

I respectfully disagree with leaving ergonomics up to the people who "know what they are doing". That said, I just realized my footnote clarifying that I am an ergonomics hobbyist wasn't properly referenced - fixed inhttps://github.com/mgsloan/mgsloan-site/commit/4a3cb2442eaed...

Besides bad wrist angle, if the backside of your elbows rested on a pad, you could have aggravated the ulnar nerve. Same with a handful of other locations in upper neck and the other nerves in the arm. Nerve impingement/inflammation can show up as referred pain in the wrists.

It was wise to take the time off.

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