Going Ergonomic with Your Tech
Most computer users have felt it─ that twinge in your wrists or elbows, or that cramp in your neck and shoulders. It’s the sign that your body has been in an uncomfortable position of strain for too long. Whether you spend hours typing at work or hours at home surfing and gaming, you need ergonomic technology to help your body handle the tasks that you need─ or want─ to accomplish.
Making the Curve
One tester claimed that the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard was his favorite for work, while others swear by the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350, with its convenient cordless design and 3 years of battery life. In addition to its naturally curved shape, the Logitech K350 boasts 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity. For individuals who type all day at the office, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 provides a “gull wing” design with a 14-degree spread at the center. The keyboard’s wavy surface and key arrangement allow wrists and hands to stay in a natural, relaxed position. The wrist rest provides additional support.
Splitting the Sections
Another keyboard takes ergonomic comfort even further with a dramatic split design. The Kinesis Freestyle Solo Keyboard, created for Mac computers, comes in two separate sections with a Pivot Tether in the middle, holding them together. You can go one step further and take off the tether if you need different positioning.
Tossing Out Tradition
Is your hand cramping up from using your mouse? Ditch the traditional mouse design altogether and try the Roller Mouse Free from Contour Design. Instead of the typical oval, curvaceous ergonomic mouse, this device takes on the shape of a long, slim bar outfitted with buttons. Instead of gripping or flexing, the Roller Mouse Free interprets rolling and sliding motions from your fingers and navigates the screen accordingly.
Shaking It Up
Another mouse option takes the standard mouse design and turns it on its side. The VerticalMouse 3 Wireless from Evoluent adapts the “handshake” orientation and works well for users with large hands. Its five buttons are programmable, and its battery lasts for up to three months.
Feeling Left Out
Since left-handed users are in the minority, they are often neglected when manufacturers design ergonomic mice; but the Humanscale Switch Mouse remedies that problem. Its triangular base permits a natural, comfortable hold for either left-handed or right-handed users. Instead of a scroll wheel that could put more stress on the wrist and fingers, this mouse incorporates a navigation dish, a disc-like device for easier scrolling. The rounded palm rest and the extender feature make this the perfect solution for users of all types.
Seeing Eye to Eye
One way to prevent aches in your shoulders and neck is to keep your monitor at eye level. If your desk has no higher second level on which to set your monitor, consider a display arm so that you can mount your monitor and adjust its height and angle to best suit your height. With a minimal investment and a few key changes to your work space, you can use your computer comfortably again.