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Author Topic: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard  (Read 8686 times)

bgd77

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Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« on: April 29, 2010, 09:07:34 AM »
Hi there. I stay many hours in front of computers, both at work and at home. A few months ago I started to feel pain in my right wrist, so I moved the mouse in my left hand. My left wrist now hurts also, so I decided to buy an ergonomic mouse and keyboard.

So, my question is, do you use such devices? Could you make some recommandations?

Thanks,
bgd77

nosh

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 10:10:57 AM »
I have been using Microsoft's Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 for some months and absolutely love it.

The only disadvantage: there may be a small learning curve involved for a touch typist because of its contours.

The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 bundles the wireless version of this keyboard with a mouse that feels too much like holding a potato for me to like it.  :)

 

nudone

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 10:25:31 AM »
this is probably too simple a solution but it's something i encountered just this week...

i raised my office chair about 3 inches a few days ago - within an hour my wrists where aching (which they never do normally). i ignored this for a day or two and in the end decided to lower the chair again as it was just too painful on the wrists.

so, maybe, that's all that is required. my office table is actually a bit higher than my chair arm-wrests - which means my elbows are lower than my wrists when i'm sat at the computer.

other than that, i'd recommed any keyboard but keep it flat and use any mouse that has a very low front and a high back - thereby lifting your wrist slighty when you place your hand on it.

nite_monkey

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 10:57:32 AM »
One option you can do is eliminate the need to move your mouse at all, and get a trackball mouse. That is what I use now, and I love it.
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daddydave

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 05:10:58 PM »
I have been using Microsoft's Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 for some months and absolutely love it.

Can you give me the the dimensions of keyboard? I am considering one, and curious whether it would fit in my keyboard drawer (not that I'm really a fan of keyboard drawers, but there is kind of a house rule to "hide" things.) One I thought I could use was too tall.

EDIT: Never mind, I see the PDF with specs at the link.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 05:15:30 PM by daddydave »

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 09:03:09 AM »
Pain in the wrist sounds like an incorrect angle in the joint to me ... not that I'm an expert tho'. But as nudone says, checking your relative heights is a good idea:
this is probably too simple a solution but it's something i encountered just this week...

i raised my office chair about 3 inches a few days ago - within an hour my wrists where aching (which they never do normally). i ignored this for a day or two and in the end decided to lower the chair again as it was just too painful on the wrists.

My problems were different, they were more located in the shoulders because:
  • shoulder extension issues with the mouse too far from my centre
  • hunching because my hands were not spread enough
I wrote very briefly here about the set-up (which reminds me I should update it because it's been very good and completely solved my pain issues  :))

nudone

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2010, 09:46:30 AM »
I wrote very briefly here about the set-up (which reminds me I should update it because it's been very good and completely solved my pain issues  :))
interesting. i like the keyboard - very much. i'm wondering whether to get one. i'm not suffering any wrist ache but that keyboard looks like one of, if not the most, sensible designs ever.

slight off topic:
i wonder how many people (around the world using computers) actually need the number keys on the right-hand-side. i mean, really need them - like everyday. that number key area is taking up mouse movement space - something that nearly all right-handed mouse users could use if a lump of plastic wasn't in the way.

remove the numberpad area and you can position your keyboard better (more room on the right) whilst also giving your mouse more room to travel AND thereby placing the mouse closer - so less reach is involved.

it all seems so obvious - make the numberpad its own little lump of plastic - position where you like. you could even stick it in the way of your mouse and relive the pointless lack of space you had before.


so, i want a keyboard without a numberpad (or with a separate pad). the reason i don't rush out and buy something is because my current keyboard (Logitech G11) has a set of extra keys (18 x 3) down the left-hand-side which are programmable - i like that - i use that.

it's the 21st century and the standard keyboard is something designed by someone that obviously didn't understand the importance of a mouse.

we should have split keyboards by now - with extra programmable keys (on their own pad), numberpad keys (on their own pad), and the main keys split in the middle so you can position them under your hands - AND all out of the way of the mouse.

i know all these will be available somewhere - but at a premium cost.

it's dumb.

i need to go and calm down now...
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 09:48:55 AM by nudone »

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2010, 10:03:31 AM »
Everyone makes the same joke when they see my keyboard: "why did you break you keyboard?". But I've never looked back, the pain in my back disappeared almost overnight (I didn't have any wrist pain, and I don't think spreading your hands would help with wrist pain anyway).

I very nearly bought the http://www.kinesis-e...om/advantage_pro.htm, but was worried about the lack of movement of my arms. And I definitely had already decided on the rollermouse (to stop the right-shoulder pain). It was pretty comfy when I tried it out though (and it has heaps of geek appeal  ;))

I miss the dedicated number pad though. I'm not too bad touch typing the numbers, but for spreadsheets I liked to use the numberpad. I have wondered about getting a separate one and putting in between the split keyboard...

But I did also like the http://www.typematrix.com/ keyboard too, but it didn't give me enough hand spread.

Recently I've been wondering about the bamboo tablet and placing it between the split keyboard  :-\... but my existing set-up is hard to beat at the moment for comfort.

And functionality wise, it's amazing how functional it is to use your thumbs to move the cursor... ends up just like the space bar on the keyboard.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 10:05:30 AM by Perry Mowbray »

nudone

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2010, 10:21:19 AM »
hmm, sticking a numberpad in the middle of your keyboard(s) sounds like a good solution.

i quite like the look of the TypeMatrix keyboard. i've also found this one, the "mouse friendly" keyboard (i've also seen a few left-handed keyboards now, which is what this is under another name): http://www.evoluent.com/kb1.html

still premium prices. if i could saw my keyboard in two - so the numberpad was gone i'd do it. maybe i should look into it.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2010, 10:24:29 AM »
if i could saw my keyboard in two - so the numberpad was gone i'd do it. maybe i should look into it.

 ;D  That's what everyone thinks that I've done to mine!!

i quite like the look of the TypeMatrix keyboard. i've also found this one, the "mouse friendly" keyboard (i've also seen a few left-handed keyboards now, which is what this is under another name): http://www.evoluent.com/kb1.html

Yes: that looks good too.

It all depends on where you are getting pain / discomfort / etc.

I do this little demonstration at work all the time with people who ask...
  • I stand facing the person and tell them to hold their hands out in front of themselves as if on a keyboard: ie close together.
  • Then I say to concentrate on their shoulders
  • Then move their hands apart so they are in line with their shoulders
  • Repeat

Generally everyone is amazed that their shoulders relax with their hands spread.

I also do this one...
  • Hold your hand out horizontally in front of you
  • Turn your hand 90 degrees so that it's vertical
  • Repeat

Your hand generally feels more comfortable in a more vertical position.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 10:30:57 AM by Perry Mowbray »

nudone

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2010, 10:32:39 AM »
;D  That's what everyone thinks that I've done to mine!!
i'm pretty sure that's what you've done too. no one is crazy enough to buy a keyboard that's already sawn in two. it worked for you - so it will work for me  :D

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 10:38:18 AM »
If you really are (you are surprising me now...  ;))... I think you'd have to saw two in half, as one side is bound to become unusable  :o

nudone

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2010, 11:41:43 AM »
i'm going to look at this insides of this keyboard (soon) but i expect the board that acts as the circuit for all the keys will be too difficult to cut - but, if not, then i'll consider cutting things up very carefully. i only want the numberpad area removing really.

i've also seen a few usb style numberpads you can buy quite cheap. i'm tempted to get one of them and then use something like autohotkey to provide all of the programmable keys i use with this current G11 keyboard.

one other reason i didn't want to lose this G11 board is that the keys are illuminated. i guess i just want too much in one package.

kfitting

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2010, 01:12:29 PM »
Dont forget that "ergonomic" gadgets are only 1/4 of the solution.  I've found working on better posture (and all the work that entails) is way more useful than any ergonomic devices.  Wrist pain, back pain, hip pain, etc can all be caused by poor posture.

See this previous thread:
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=14770.0

barney

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2010, 04:58:16 PM »
I've been using ergonomic keyboards for a decade or more.  Tried a split keyboard, but you cannot put a split keyboard on your lap, a sometime necessity for me.

Never did like meeses, been using MS Trackball Explorer longer than the ergonomic keyboards.  (Wore two out, and this one is getting iffy:  don't make 'em anymore, so don't know what I'll do when it dies :'(.)  Reason for this particular model is that my hand is at the most natural angle - for me, 30-45 degrees - thus no undue stress on the wrist.  With the thumb controlling the primary mouse buttons & wheel, and first two or three finger[tip]s controlling the ball, there is minimal motion for any given digit or for the wrist.  That's an important point for old (or young) arthritic hands.  Tried the flat and the thumb controlled trackballs, but the Explorer was the least stressful - again, for me.

The angle on the keyboard - currently MS 4000 - relieves back pain that was experienced with flat keyboards, and the original reason for trying one.

You'll just have to experiment, methinks, to find the configuration that fits you most comfortably.

cranioscopical

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2010, 08:21:26 PM »
don't make 'em anymore, so don't know what I'll do when it dies
I happen to use Logitech. When they disappeared from local stores I bought some through e-bay.
FWIW, I just stuck "MS Trackball Explorer e-bay" into Google and came up with a bunch of MS trackballs.
Just passing along the idea as I know trackball withdrawal symptoms first-hand.

barney

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2010, 09:07:35 PM »
Thx, cranioscopical,

I had already hit Amazon - $495, when I searched, & they only showed having two - amazing how scarcity ups the price, ain't it?

Have a natural antipathy towards eBay due to something that happened to a then coworker and a few other friends later, but it seems definitely worthwhile to subdue my distaste in this instance :-\.

mouser

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2010, 12:00:54 AM »
i have the ms ergonomic keyboard 4000 (dc member wordzilla bought it for me as a wonderful present!), and i really like it.  the one thing i would warn you though about getting an "ergonomic" keyboard, is that it does cause problems when you use another pc without it.. surely in time the brain would adjust to switching between keyboards but it's not easy.  so if you regularly use multiple pcs, you might want to reconsider getting one.

app103

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2010, 12:36:37 AM »
i quite like the look of the TypeMatrix keyboard. i've also found this one, the "mouse friendly" keyboard (i've also seen a few left-handed keyboards now, which is what this is under another name): http://www.evoluent.com/kb1.html

I use their vertical mouse, and absolutely love it! http://www.evoluent.com/vm3.html

i have the ms ergonomic keyboard 4000 (dc member wordzilla bought it for me as a wonderful present!), and i really like it.  the one thing i would warn you though about getting an "ergonomic" keyboard, is that it does cause problems when you use another pc without it.. surely in time the brain would adjust to switching between keyboards but it's not easy.  so if you regularly use multiple pcs, you might want to reconsider getting one.

That's how I got my mouse. (wordzilla is a great guy!) And I would make the same recommendation about what happens when you get too used to it, but I'll take that even one more step. If you have a multi-user pc, you might want to attach another normal mouse to it for others to use. They typically will not like your vertical mouse unless they are used to it. In fact, they will probably hate it unless you force them to use it exclusively for a week. (then they will love it)

Because my daughter occasionally uses my PC, I have a second normal mouse connected that I keep behind my keyboard. When she wants to use the pc, I stick my mouse on top of the desk and move the other one forward.

bgd77

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2010, 08:56:44 AM »
Thanks for the replies!

I try to have a correct posture at the desk, but I cannot stay in that position all the time. A vertical mouse seems a very interesting idea, I'll give it a try, and I will also try the Microsoft ergonomic 4000 keyboard.

J-Mac

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2010, 01:33:24 AM »
I bought me an Evoluent Vertical mouse after reading the last thread about ergonomic mice. Never did get used to it; it seemed to be difficult for me to get it to feel good at all. It is sitting in a box in a spare room here with the rest of my unloved equipment.

Jim

mouser

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2010, 02:20:24 AM »
maybe you should give it away to someone on dc?

daddydave

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2010, 11:00:12 AM »
Based on the recommendations of this thread, I bought a Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard and I am liking it. Amazing it does fit in my keyboard drawer, but I hate keyboard drawers and am thinking they defeat the purpose of an ergonomic keyboard, so it is on top of my desk.

I kind of wish I had a white keyboard. I have a theory that white keyboards are easier to see than black ones, but since I am putting it on top of the desk, I am having to match it with the decor.  :mad: And I am not supposed to be looking at the keyboard anyway.  :-[

I am having some fun customizing the extra keys like "Home" and "Calculator", so I will start a separate thread asking you all what your favorite keyboard customizations are. I like Intellitype except I found some difficulty in the macro editor within (where you are trying to enter something like Win-Shift-C), although part of that was I have a program that seems to want to hold the Windows key down after the macro runs so I could never get it to work. It works fine with other programs.

The rest of this post consists of 3 minor nitpicks.

1. The extra keys like "Mail" and "Calculator" are labeled with Gray on Silver so hard to see. This is compensated for by clear labels below the keys and key sections, and the spacing which will be memorized soon I am sure.

2. The function keys are labeled with things like "Help", "Undo," "Redo" instead of their normal functions. This is why I had previously passed over this keyboard in the store. In practice the function key labels aren't much of a problem, I just ignore the extra functions and keep it on Function Lock.  The keys also have the F1, F2 labels but they are on the side facing you instead of on top -- perfect for my on-desk arrangement. I'm surprised Help and F1 aren't actually the same function, but apparently Microsoft envisions programs that actually expect you to press the Help key instead of F1.  

3. As noted in user reviews everywhere, the spacebar is keys are loud. The zoom slider can also be loud if you bump it to the edges a lot, but it doesn't get used much, unlike the spacebar.

Overall it is a great keyboard for my purposes. I was looking for ergonomics and some extra keys to customize for the heck of it. :up: :up: for the keyboard and the recommendations here.

If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 11:56:23 AM by daddydave »

J-Mac

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Re: Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2010, 12:34:46 PM »
I purchased the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard and my only real problem is the same one that apparently all users have with it: this doggone Space Bar. It is extremely hard to depress unless you hit it right in the center; I mean, you can certainly press the sides of the bar but as often as not it doesn’t go all the way down because of how stiff it is. And regardless where you press the space bar it is LOUD! The first time I was typing a lot of text and tapping away at the keys fairly fast - well, as fast as I do which isn't really that fast! - my better half stopped in my office to see if I was beating the keyboard to death. I wasn’t hitting any keys harder than normal; it's just that the space bar makes that loud of a click each time you press it - and you press the space bar a lot when typing. I have seen this mentioned in virtually all reviews for this KB, some a number of years old, so Microsoft is surely well aware of the issue. Apparently they haven't seen fit to fix the design.

I have removed the space bar three times now and tried to apply fixes I have seen in various forums to no avail, though admittedly I have not tried any that actually involve cutting or snapping any thing off in there.

I also got myself a Logitech Marble Mouse track ball.  I have used it for a few weeks now and I do like the feel of it. My only problem with it is the lack of any way to scroll pages with it. Of course you can use the scroll bar and hold the left button while you do so but that doesn’t quite make up for a mouse scroll wheel unfortunately. I also installed UberOptions so I could modify the left extra button, just above the regular left mouse button, to make that  act as a "middle mouse button", so I can press that  and scroll like if you press & click on the scroll wheel of a regular mouse. But again that's not quite the same. Also, I have finally given up trying to do any fine, detailed mouse work with the track ball; I was getting to be OK with it but I just cannot use it quite as finely as I can I good quality regular mouse. So I have both types attached and I switch to the regular mouse only when I need finer cursor control than I can get with the trackball.

Thanks!

Jim