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347 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 87016 18-Jul-2011 10:06
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Hi all

I use my PC upwards of 8-10 hours a day, mostly for work (3D animation) and a bit of gaming afterwards. Even though I know a fair number of keyboard shortcuts I still have lots and lots of clicking every day.

This developed an "almost" serious RSI a few years ago. Since then I've always been on the lookout for good ergonomic mice to help stave off a very early retirement from my career choice!

My current mouse is on its way out. Its an "Ortho-mouse" and the right mouse button has gummed up. It has been an ok mouse for RSI prevention, but it only lasted around 2 years.

I've also used the 3M ergonomic mouse and was impressed at first, then I developed a twinge in another area of my arm and it broke easily (the mouse not my arm!)

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for other brands?

Importing is not a problem, pricing would be good if its around the $100 ball park 

Many thanks :) 

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  Reply # 494703 18-Jul-2011 13:49
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I experienced some mouse/keyboard related rsi a few years ago. Around the same time a colleague quit due to it (changed careers) and another was pretty much terminated for it. Enough to get me thinking.

I tried a number of different solutions before realising while each was good - what really helped was frequent and significant change of equipment rather than any particular bit of kit, though well designed kit certainly helps.

A change every three weeks to a month seemed to do the trick, but often longer was ok. A change of desk/chair is also good.

After doing a lot of reading etc, my own take on it is that classic IT rsi is a result of heightened sensitivity over a small range of movement.

This development of heightened sensitivity over a small range is normal and beneficial for fine work requiring small controlled movements (like if you are a watchmaker or neurosurgeon). Not so much where you do not need that level of feedback. The change of equipment helps move the intense focus from that narrow range.

[Edit: It is not my opinion that all rsi or all IT rsi derives from this source]

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  Reply # 494717 18-Jul-2011 13:57
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I do Cad work and use a bamboo tablet by Wacom. Takes a bit of getting used to but I dont have the problems that I was having with a mouse.

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  Reply # 494724 18-Jul-2011 14:04
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As gzt says... swap occasionally,works your muscles slightly differently
Personally I prefer trackballs. I have 2 one each side of the keyboard.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 494729 18-Jul-2011 14:07
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gzt - I definitely agree, those micro-controlled movements add up to cause a larger amount of pressure over time.
What kind of equipment do you switch between for your mouse/keyboard input?

srob - I'm a bit unique in that I'm a lefty but use a right-handed mouse. So with a tablet I initially favour my left hand like a normal pen, but then I can't get used to the non-right-hand mouse input method! Weird, I know :)

I'm looking forward to when the Kinect is in common use as a mouse replacement for Windows, Minority Report style! Bye bye RSI haha

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  Reply # 494732 18-Jul-2011 14:07
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Some people here at work are using something similar to this. 

Seems if you hold your arms out and rotate them between palms up and palms down, we use the mouse and keyboard very close to the maximum rotation in one direction.  A vertical mouse means you use the mouse in a fairly neutral mid way position.  I tried it and think I could get used to it.

Sorry if the above doesn't read like I'm thinking it!  
Basically though it's like we're not geared up for sustained small movements over long periods of time.


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  Reply # 494875 18-Jul-2011 16:52
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gurthang117: gzt - [...] What kind of equipment do you switch between for your mouse/keyboard input?

At present my input is far less intense. Back then my box of alternates included a large logitech trackball (nla), a 3M stick mouse, a fairly standard Microsoft mouse, a very small notebook style mouse, and a really ugly large ergonomic mouse similar to this one.

Seating was a standard office chair, a kind of kneeling chair (with comfort mods)(usually pick them up for $40 at second hand office places, nobody wants them), & even a 600mm exercise ball. + small blocks to raise and lower desk height.

Keyboards alternated between MS Natural and the usual standard one + frequently changing the little height tabs on both for some variety. Current favorite is a Dell SK-8135.

When getting used to a brand new alternate there is usually an initial productivity dip, and a new device can feel very clunky indeed. This process is actually beneficial of course, & next time you use it as an alternate it will not be a problem so much.

Today I would add Apple's Magic Mouse (I have read there is a method to get multitouch working with Windows 7), and something like this for times where you just want to kick back or stand up and monitor something while giving an occasional input.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 495171 19-Jul-2011 10:37
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Aah so many choices! Looks like I've got some serious thinking on the matter to do.

Thanks for the excellent responses guys :) 

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  Reply # 495177 19-Jul-2011 10:47
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I use Microsoft Natural Wireless 7000 Keyboard+Mouse combo, and mouse is pretty awesome. I like how it's comfortable gripping/holding it.

Though I'm not sure whether you can get the mouse by itself.

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  Reply # 495229 19-Jul-2011 12:37
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i would recommend hand/finger stretches! helps to get me through those long LAN's

gz ftw

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  Reply # 495928 20-Jul-2011 20:34
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Don't focus just on the gear, although some good ideas here that I might try. I've heard very good things about tablets, since using the stylus is a more natural action with more variety of larger movements. Exercises and seating/posture all have their place, and apparently weights can help sometimes too. So far the little gyro ball from Kathmandu hasn't helped much but I guess it adds to the variety and builds up that problem muscle.

Most of my RSI is managed by NOT using my mouse in the usual hand (I switched to using it left-handed), and avoiding a twisting motion whenever I pickup a screwdriver -- which seems to strain the same muscles and reactivate the original RSI strain.

Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 610680 17-Apr-2012 17:17
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I read your post and although my e-mail is a little bit late (I had to request the conversation be unlocked:-)) It is better late than never :-) I myself have worked in intensive IT situations around the world and suffered RSI to such a severe point. I tried many different types of mice and America and Germany where I was working and stumbled across one that I found to really work for me and others doing intensive IT work. I now bring them into New Zealand myself and do know one is not allowed to self promote here but check out NZ RSI shop, they are really great mice.
All the best! And good on you for taking measures before it is too late!

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 615976 27-Apr-2012 12:35
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@docfreya Sorry but that Vertical Mouse on NZ RSI shop looks terrible. It would need a lot of wrist support to hold your hand up unless you put pressure on your little fingers, and it still has a mouse wheel which would aggravate the small muscles in your fingers.
I'd be more interested if you imported the Orthomouse. I'm still using my one now, it just needs regular cleaning to keep working. But its still the most comfortable mouse without sacrificing any usability in my experience.

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  Reply # 615979 27-Apr-2012 12:41
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Have you tried a trackpad like the apple magic trackpad?
Might be worth a try, I definetly prefer using one to a mouse now.
I like the tap to click function, you only have to give it the lightest tap with your finger tip to click.
Also great for scrolling etc.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 616162 27-Apr-2012 17:15
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I haven't tried Apple Magic Trackpad specifically, but I have used a Macbook trackpad a lot. Its decent enough for casual use but I would never want to use it for anything precise or for a long period of time.
Thanks for the suggestion though!

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  Reply # 616181 27-Apr-2012 17:36
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gurthang117: I haven't tried Apple Magic Trackpad specifically, but I have used a Macbook trackpad a lot. Its decent enough for casual use but I would never want to use it for anything precise or for a long period of time.
Thanks for the suggestion though!

I have found that a pen tablet is the best way to go for this, as well as using a mouse, switched between both hands from time to time. I don't or haven't had RSI, and that could be why.

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