The Ergorest Articulating Arm Support can assist you whether you wish to avoid potential RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) symptoms or reduce the arm, neck and shoulder pain that you are already experiencing as a result of extensive computer work.
In this Ergorest review I will share my experiences with the Ergorest Forearm Support. I have been using the Ergorest articulating arm support as a devoted user since 2006.
Most of us who are working at computers on a daily basis will be, or have already experienced arm, neck and shoulder pain to some degree. Working at a computer is an occupational hazard and finding ways to prevent RSI symptoms is pivotal in order to keep our careers going.
The first time I came across the Ergorest arm support was at work at a time when I was struggling with carpal tunnel and RSI symptoms. I was offered to try one and I didn´t give it back until I left the company.
Related article: How to prevent carpal tunnel by improving workstation habits
How Can the Ergorest Arm Support Help You
The best way to describe the immediate benefit you can expect from using this ergonomic armrest, is to describe the sensation you will experience in your upper body when you remove your arm from the arm support after using it for even a few minutes.
- You will feel your arm and shoulder sag and feel twice as heavy.
- Your forearm will inevitably come to rest on the table edge which is bad for circulation and is an additive factor to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Your posture suffers immediately and you will feel your shoulders come forward and pull your chest and head slightly down and forwards. This posture is a certain recipe for all kinds of strain related pain and potential damage to your arm, neck and shoulder.
When you put your arm back at rest in the armrest your shoulder area feels almost weightless. Assuming a healthy upright posture comes almost naturally. If you are suffering from arm problems an armrest may be able to provide you with some neck and shoulder pain relief.
I know this sounds like salesman talk. But you should go out and try it in a store or buy one where you know that it can be returned if you don´t like using it. Surely the Ergorest arm support is not for everyone, but it has worked wonders for me, as it most likely will for most people who work long hours at computers or other stationary desk jobs.
If you have strong pains in your arms, shoulders and neck already you should consult a professional for advice before testing new tools. If your problems are within reason or if you simply wish to do what you can to prevent health problems later, I believe trying out this ergonomic armrest is worth a shot for you.
The Ergorest product series comes from Finland in northern Scandinavia.
The first impression you get when you hold the product is how solid and sturdy it feels. It feels like a high quality product which it really is! It is surprisingly heavy as it is primarily made of cast aluminum instead of plastic.
I have had my Ergorest support for 9 years and it seems to be almost indestructible if you treat it well. I have used mine for countless of hours and you literally can´t tell. It still has a solid grip on the desk and there is no sagging worth mentioning.
Apart from a couple of transportation marks it still looks and feels like a new product.
Quite often a product like this is made out of plastic but in this case the main structure is made of cast aluminum.
The arm pad is based on a plastic arm shaped half cylinder shell. The pad is covered with a soft foam material and is finalized with genuine leather that can be cleaned easily. It has proven to be extremely durable.
The clamp mechanism
The upper and lower part of the clamp is made of cast aluminum as well.
The upper clamp that is in contact with the desk surface is covered with an approx. 1 mm thick protective rubber sheet to avoid scratching the desk. The rubber also adds to a secure hold on the desk.
The 47 mm wide mounting thumb screw that holds the support in place is made of thick plastic (the thread itself is steel).
The upper part of the clamp is detachable and adjustable by loosening a sub mounted screw.
The arm support is height adjustable by means of a thumbscrew that is integrated in the inner, lower arm structure. By adjusting the screw the downward range of the arm support is restricted to the height of your choice.
Full freedom of movement
The articulating arm support preserves your full freedom of movement. I would claim that it actually enhances your sensation of unrestricted movement since you hardly need to lift your arm when you move your hand from mouse to keyboard. This reduces the daily strain on your shoulder significantly.
The movement of the arm structure is based on a flexible 3 hinge design.
Starting from the desk, the first joint swivels some 190 degrees limited by the table on this type of Ergorest.
The second joint has a 360 degree free range of turn.
The arm pad itself has a 360 degree free range of turn.
The soft arm pad is very comfortable and it does not restrict your movements in any way.
The arm pad is fitted loosely onto the support structure. I have seen this referred to as “wobbly” in product comments. However, the way the pad is mounted ensures a minimum of friction and it rotates effortlessly with your arm movements. When you put your arm back on the Ergorest the pad slips into the right position without demanding your attention.
The large thumb screw has a rough, rippled side that ensures a good grip for securing the arm support firmly to the edge of the desk.
The upper clamp can be adjusted to fit different desk thicknesses. A very rough jagged surface ensures a non-slip contact between the two parts.
The detachable jaw can be replaced with a larger version if your desk is thicker than usual. Please note that an extra jaw is not included. You must decide which will suit your work environment best when you buy it, or purchase the extra jaw separately.
The standard version has a grip range of (1″ to 1 5/8″) or (15-43 mm)
The optional larger clamp version offers a grip range (1 5/8″ to 2 1/2″) or (34-64 mm)
My personal model, Ergorest forearm support 330 000 has the standard sized grip range. Until now, I have never needed the extended grip range.
I have encountered mounting problems only twice, although these issues were not exactly product related:
- At one occasion my desk was actually too thin for the fixture mechanism. However, this problem is easily fixed by adding a sheet of plastic or something. If you encounter this issue you should use a hard material. At this particular occasion I had used some sheets of cardboard and I actually had to use a wrench to loosen the thumbscrew when I left the company.
- At one workplace I was unable to use the arm support because the desk had a rather wide tapered edge.
The support has a maximum load capacity of 10 kg / 22 LB.
Left and right
The arm support is uniformly designed and can be used freely your left and right.
The Finnish Ergorest manufacturer offers 4 main groups of models. They have a convenient Ergorest product overview on their website:
330 000 – Basic model and also the model described in this review.
330 011 – Basic model structure with a longer arm pad.
330 013 – Longer support structure which means a larger range of movement.
330 016 – Longer support structure and longer arm pad
Same basic features as the 330 series.
But has an integrated mouse mat that is mounted directly on the table fixture mechanism. The mouse mat is detachable and the 350 model can be used with or without the mat.
This model has other uses than computer desk work and goes beyond the scope of this review. It is raised and is meant for industrial use by technicians and such.
Similar to the 330-series, but with electrostatic discharge protection.
This model has other uses than computer desk work and goes beyond the scope of this review. It is designed with the electronics industry in mind.
You have a variety of colors to choose from to suit your taste and office design.
The aluminum support structure comes in:
- Very light grey (Almost white).
The arm pad comes in:
What the support structure is concerned, I think both colors go with pretty much everything. Dust will show significantly less on the white version and the structure does have a lot of corners and holes that will gather dirt over time.
What the arm pad is concerned, I clearly recommend the black edition. My arm pad shows absolutely no wear apart from a self-inflicted scratch. I would imagine that the lighter colored ones would show signs of use earlier.
- It really makes a difference
- Immediate neck and shoulder strain relief
- Comfortable and soft arm contact
- Sturdy, high quality design and materials
- Several models and colors
- Depending on the adjusted height, you can occasionally bump into the desk edge with the arm pad.
- Impractical with armrests on the chair. This is more a statement than a con since the Ergorest in actuality eliminates the need for an armrest.
- On rare occasions I have missed the option to adjust it a few millimeters lower. This is easily fixable with a small file, but I haven´t missed the option enough to make any changes yet.
- The price is arguably somewhat mature, but if you treat it well it will easily last you a decade or more.
Final thoughts and verdict
As you can surely tell, I am a huge fan of the Ergorest Arm Support. I firmly believe that it can help people who suffer from RSI, mouse arm, shoulder or neck problems as a result of extensive computer work.
The Ergorest product range of forearm supports, is a recognized ergonomic brand. The products are build of high quality, sturdy materials and the forearm support will serve you well for several years.
As mentioned the Ergorest may not be for everyone, but to me it has been one of the best ergonomic choices ever. Try it out at a store near you or buy it online at a web shop that has a flexible return policy.
I give the Ergorest a heartfelt five star verdict.