*notcot in tech , 16:37

Ergonomic Computing- 11.01.07

ergo1.jpgFor those who noticed i’ve been really slow on posts and editing the other sites today, i guess i’ve kind of found myself with the one problem that i can “call in sick” about… my right fingers have been doing crazy cramping up, and my hand has been killing me a bit. I guess those 10+ years of not so ergo laptop-in-bed-and-on-lap are catching up to me as i near 25. Figures that it is right now that i decide to have all these ideas for redesigns i’m dying to sit and code… Anyhow, whining aside, this carpal tunnel scare convinced me to finally look a little more closely at the ergonomic options out there and i just ran out and grabbed this crazy split Gold Touch keyboard by KeyOvation that Dan recommended… and i’m considering forcing my mouse usage lefty and trying one of their crazy Evoluent vertical mice as well (not to mention trying to work at a desk properly).

Anyhow, i just wanted to tell you all to BE CAREFUL! And i was also wondering if you’d had any experience, advice, ideas on the subject… and why oh why are these things all so ugly?!?!?! One of these days we will have to get some designers and engineers together and help clean some of these designs up. Oh, and i might be a little extra quiet/slow for the next few days with this physically induced “break”… sorry.

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13 Notes

http://comfortkeyboard.com/quill.html

I always thought this mouse was really beautiful. I’ve never heard of anyone who used it and haven’t myself so I can’t comment on it’s efficacy, but I thought you might like to see it.

----- Stefanie 04.11.07 08:02

Thanks so much, everyone. Its been great hearing what you guys are using, and what helps and doesn’t, also taking this much needed break has been a nice way to step back and brainstorm a bit more about all things notcot and what’s important as well!

Thanks again!

----- Jean 02.11.07 22:33

Oh - forgot to add: I am using an ancient IBM M15 ergonomic keyboard. They’re noisy as hell and don’t have a numeric keypad, but they also split totally apart and can be “tented” slightly like the Goldtouch. (Search on www.clickykeyboards.com) Having the halves split by about 5-6 inches makes typing more comfortable for me. For mice I am switching between an early version of the Logitech Trackman and a plain old OEM mouse.

----- Jenny 02.11.07 21:59

My mouse wrist got so bad that I had to have cortisone shots and give it a complete rest (couldn’t even open doors) for almost a month. I have found that no one of these devices are a cure, you may just end up moving the problem from one body part to another. My advice is to have at least 2 types of mice and switch them every so often. Also switch from right to left handed mousing every month or so. Try not to rest your forearm or hands/wrists on corners or ledges, take frequent breaks and stretch gently. None of this is fun, but neither is having your wrist in a splint. Good luck

----- Jenny 02.11.07 21:48

I’ve been using the evoluent mouse for a year and it is really good. My wrist stopped hurting, since you don’t have to turn your wrist so much. It’s worth the money.

----- Martin 02.11.07 07:41

One might ask if tools like this fixes the problem. My experience tell me that they only fixes the symtoms, for a while. But they can be really nice to have when you fix the real problem in your neck and back by exercise and better posture.

----- lop 02.11.07 06:44

I have the Evoluent vertical mouse and highly recommend it. I despise using normal flat mouses now and I don’t think that it is TOO ugly, especially compared to that keyboard. Regardless of its appearance it will do wonders for your arm.

However, if you are a Mac user with the vertical mouse you will need a program like USB Overdrive to give full functionality to all those buttons. (Unless that is addressed in the new OS?)

----- Paul Schmidt 02.11.07 05:53

I’ve been using the Evoluent Vertical Mouse for the last year, and it has helped significantly. Granted, over use results in pains in the leading edge of your hand, as you are just moving the repetitive motions elsewhere.

I tried every ergonomic mouse out there, and the Vertical Mouse is the only one I can recommend. That in combination with a Wacom Tablet has saved my career.

----- red india 02.11.07 05:53

I swear by the Evoluent. After going trackpad-only for a year of laptop-centric grad school, my hand was in bad shape. I got an Evoluent, and the problem literally disappeared. I’ve been using them at work and at home for about 3 years. Feel like I dodged a bullet…

----- JK 02.11.07 02:54

You feel like a football player who’s torn his ACL, right?

----- Jeffy Chang 02.11.07 00:40

I solved the same challenge with this keyboard (http://www.typematrix.com) and got the Dvorak model — it’s taken me a year to learn to retype, but it’s worth it. I’m faster, my fingers move less, and I feel really cool — the whole point, right?

----- J. Fife 01.11.07 21:31

welcome to the club :( what helps for the “mouse arm” - not the carpal tunnel - but what helps against the shortening of the tendon, is to strech. stand in front of the table, put your hands on it with the back of the hand down, fingertips are pointing left and right from you, and slowly, carefully, press down for a while, stop and repeat a few times, and each day. it helps a lot

----- minion 01.11.07 20:33

Yeah i suffer from wrist pain also from 14 years of computer usage. i am still getting around to doing something about it.

----- Tarsh 01.11.07 18:01

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