Ergonomic Alternatives to a Mouse September 27 2017
Mouse usage is a leading contributor to repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) involving the hands, wrists and arms. When RSIs worsen over time in these areas, they can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’re concerned about the health and safety your wrists and hands, you may want to consider getting an ergonomic mouse for your workstation. An ergonomic mouse or even more alternative options like a RollerMouse Red keyboard mouse, touchpad, trackball or foot switch offer greater versatility than traditional mouse choices. These ergonomically friendly substitutes can reduce or even prevent mouse-induced repetitive stress injuries.
This central input device (pictured above) encourages the equal use of both hands as an addition to your keyboard. The mouse buttons are centered beneath the keyboard home keys and allows the elbows to rest comfortably on either side, supporting a good ergonomic posture. The combination of the mouse and keyboard functions, you eliminate frequent asymmetrical or over reaching with your mouse hand. Not only does this device encourage ambidextrous use, it requires no gripping and therefore induces minimal pressure on the fingertips.
While touchpads are a common facet of laptop computers, they are also available for desktops. Touchpads work by dragging and tapping your finger on the pad to move and select the cursor. Advantages include minimizing hand and finger usage and pressure, keeping elbows and shoulders more stationary, and decreasing keyboard usage with programmable hotkeys.
Trackballs are an effective ergonomic option for those that experience shoulder pain. They feature a large rolling ball fitted into a stationary setting. The rolling ball functions to move the cursor across the screen and the user can either press a button nearby the ball or the ball itself to make a selection. Using a trackball mouse has many benefits including eliminating movement of the hand and wrist to prevent carpal tunnel or similar injuries, easing pressure and stress on the joints in the shoulders, and requiring little desk space.
Using a foot switch completely eliminates the stress incurred on the hands, wrists, and shoulders. Foot switches rest on the ground underneath your desk. You can assign pedals specific mousing actions (right or left clicking) as well as keyboard actions (Backspace, Shift, etc.) Users can use pedals to command a wide variety of actions as they are customizable and can work for any task. Foot switches are available for one or both feet, and allow the user to balance use of both sides of the body. If you already suffer from mouse-related repetitive stress injuries, the footswitch is an ideal substitute.
Ergonomic alternatives to using a traditional mouse can relieve pressure or stress on your fingers, hands, wrists and shoulders. With a decrease in the development of repetitive stress injuries that lead to carpal tunnel, replacing your mouse is one of the first steps to constructing an ergonomically friendly workspace.