Designing a better mouse

Surfing the Internet may seem like a sedentary pastime. In fact, parts of your body are at work. The constant movement your hand makes up-and-down and back-and-forth across a mousepad may cause soreness in your fingers, hand, wrist, shoulder, upper back and neck.The condition is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and its symptoms are tingling, numbness, weakness or pain. In order to correct this, engineers set out to design a pain-free mouse system. So, if your current mouse is causing you grief, the following products may provide some relief.

Mouse pad designs
Leg strap:
Your mouse pad is strapped to your thigh, instead of resting on your desk. This design prevents the wrist and arm from moving in unnatural angles. As well, it allows you to sit further away from the screen in a more relaxed position. It also removes some of the clutter from your desk. Related site: www.nmi.ukf.net.

Slope design: The bevelled edges and sloped surface of this mouse pad keep the arm and hand in a more natural and relaxed position than the conventional flat mouse pad. Made of stress-dispersing gel, the Goldtouch mousplatform gives under pressure, relieving strain. Related site: www.goldtouch.com/.

Armrest extension: This mouse pad attaches to your chair’s armrest and lets your arm work in a more natural position. This provides more support and puts less strain on your wrist and forearm. Related site: www.mousepaddle.com/.

Wrist support: This mouse pad is designed in a wave-shaped mould. Resting your hand on the raised support, your fingers move the mouse — you don’t need to slide your entire arm and hand up and down on the pad. Related site: www.ergoware.com/.

Mouse designs
Web wheel:
This mouse has a rubber wheel in its centre that lets you scroll down a web page simply by turning the wheel. There’s also a programmable thumb button that allows you to do a variety of tasks relieving the strain of clicking with your index fingers. Related site: www.logitech.com.

Joystick: This mouse looks like a joystick and is said to keep the hand and arm in a natural position. Its design aims to reduce the muscle load and relieving the pressure on the nerves in the wrist. Related site: www.animaxusa.com.

Trackball: This mouse uses a rolling ball, replacing all the buttons. Its ergonomic design fits the shape of your hand and eliminates the constant clicking motion. Related site: www.mousetrak.com.

Touchpad: With this system, you move your cursor by gliding your finger across a touchpad. This eliminates the stress of clicking or moving your fingers and hand. Related site: www.cirque.com.

Mouse alternatives
Voice commands:
This futuristic speech recognition system allows you to do away with your mouse. This software recognizes your speech commands and lets you create documents, use email and surf the web without ever touching a mouse. Related site: www.lhsl.com/.

Foot operated: This system eliminates wrist stress by moving all mouse operations to your feet. One pedal controls your cursor’s movement, the other handles mouse clicks. Related site: www.footmouse.com/.

Miscellaneous accessories
Computer gloves:
These nylon Lycra wrist supports with built-in cushioning on palm side allow unrestricted hand motion and function. These are ideal for people who suffer from arthritis. Related site: supply.medicaledge.com/.

Elbow rests: This system provides comfortable supports for your elbows, relieving strain on the arm, shoulder and neck. Each armrest has a standard clamp that attaches to the front of your desk. Related site: www.corvallis.com/ergonomic.