Category Archives: Health

The Head- and Foot-Controlled Ergonomic Mouse


Smartnav

If you suffer from cramped hands or carpal tunnel syndrome due to regular, repeated use of your computer keyboard, there are now some ergonomic mouses on the market. The only problem is that even if these models do alleviate hand or wrist pain, it’s still not the optimal solution for some.

So, here is the ultimate solution: a hands-free mouse.

First, the mouse is guided by your head and eye motions. The principle is simple: you place a small receiver-style webcam over your screen. Then, you put an optical sensor on your forehead, between your eyes, even while wearing a baseball cap or glasses, etc.

Each movement of your head then moves the mouse cursor on the screen. Also, moving your head just 6 mm will cover the entire screen.

The prices are higher for these models than for the ergonomic hand mouse ($70-$100). Instead, we are talking about a range from $400 to $1,000.

There are at least two models on the market: the Smartnav 4: Eg Natural Point, which costs $399, and the Extreme Head Mouse, which costs $995.

Smartnav 4 mouse

You can still click and double-click at the keyboard with your hands, and you can go even further with a double-click system by using a foot pedal for mouse-clicking on the screen, and disabled users can manipulate the clicks by navigating a straw in their mouth.

Second, there is a foot-controlled mouse. The right shoe is the “mouse” for the right foot. To the left is the “key,” which you click with your left foot.

Again, no use of the hands is needed for total control of the mouse.

The price for this model is $199 at Bili Inc.

mouse feet

Footmouse


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The Ergonomic Mouse


For some time now, I have been inquiring around about buying an ergonomic mouse because I have some problems with my hands, which are akin to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs in people who use their hands a lot in their daily work, and those who use a computer (mouse and keyboard) all day long are the first to be affected.

The symptoms include tingling and numbness of the fingers, then of the hand and wrist, arm and even shoulder (i.e., “writer’s cramp”). It is a little-known malady, but it is still badly affecting more and more people as the computer has taken up such a large part of our daily lives. This syndrome should not be taken lightly, and we should not underestimate nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as cortisone, or even an operation. We may even be forced to change jobs.

The solution: Change your work station to include the ergonomic mouse. I am about to buy one, and right now three models have caught my attention:

1 — Ergonomic Mouse Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3:

Evoluent Mouse
According to all the opinions that I have read on the Internet, it seems that the Evoluent Vertical Mouse is the best on the market. It is a vertical mouse, which keeps the wrist in a natural position, without rotating your forearm. The problem is that it is difficult to find outlets that sell this mouse in Canada unless you order it online directly from the Evoluent site at www.evoluent.com. In USA, no problem, evoluent mouse is available at Amazon.com : Evoluent Right Hand VerticalMouse 3 – Silver / Black

2 — The Mouse Joystick: Anir Vertical Mouse, Or Ergonomic Mouse 3M:

3M Ergonomic Mouse

This mouse is definitely more difficult to manage because it is really different, but once you work with it enough for it to feel familiar in your hand, it is very comfortable to use. The 3M product is available at Amazon.com: 3M Ergonomic Mouse SMALL/MEDIUM

3 — Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000:

Microsoft ergonomic mouse

The ergonomic wireless mouse from Microsoft seems to be a good fit because it works well with the Evoluent Vertical Mouse, in an upright position, which relieves the wrist and carpal tunnel area. The mouse buttons are also programmable. Available in most stores. Canada: FutureShop for example. USA: available at Amazon.com: Microsoft 69K-00001 Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000

There are a few other factors that should be taken into consideration to adapt your work station to a comfortable one. For example, you can also change:

— the mouse pad. For an optimal solution that reduces friction to the maximum, you can opt for pure Teflon sheets, or PTFEs (polytetrafluoroethylene).

— the keyboard. The ergonomic keyboard is the best choice among all stores.

If some of you have tips or experiences with the ergonomic mouse, feel free to leave a comment!