The Reason Why Your Fingers Are So Cold When Typing

You've probably heard the phrase "cold hands, warm heart" — but that doesn't make cold hands any more fun. Even at normal temperatures, your hands may get uncomfortably frigid when you've been typing for a long time — but what causes this?

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, there are two primary ways that blood travels to the fingers: the radial artery and the ulnar artery. When blood flow is decreased, the hands get cold. This can happen when the muscles contract due to cold temperatures or stress. One study showed that working at a computer for more than one hour was linked to a marked decrease in finger, wrist, and forearm temperature (via International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health). The study concluded that taking frequent breaks would be highly beneficial in reducing this effect.

If you primarily experience cold hands when working at a computer, or they warm up quickly once you get moving again, you may be able to improve your symptoms by working on your circulation. According to Medical News Today, giving up smoking, increasing your iron intake, practicing yoga, and even drinking tea are all beneficial for your circulation.

Could cold hands be a sign of something more serious?

There are times when cold hands can indicate a more serious underlying condition. One of these is Raynaud's syndrome, a condition that can cause numbness, stiffness, and loss of pigment in your fingers when you're cold or stressed (via Healthline).

Cold hands are also linked to a variety of other medical conditions. If you're always chilly, even when the surrounding temperature is warm, it could be triggered by a thyroid condition, anemia, lupus, or arterial disease. It can also be triggered by a B-12 deficiency, a blood clot, or even high degrees of stress (via Medical News Today).

According to the Cleveland Clinic, avoiding nicotine and caffeine can help alleviate symptoms, as these substances constrict the arterial flow. If you're noticing thickened skin, rashes, or cracks that just won't heal, it may be time to reach out to your doctor.