Defend Yourself Against Your Mouse

April 2004
by Reid Goldsborough

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Despite the promise of voice recognition and the allure of HAL, the talking (and listening) computer from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the vast majority of us still peck at a keyboard and push around a mouse to get our computers to do what we want.

Voice recognition, except for those unable to use their hands, remains a slower, less productive input technology.

I recently went on another odyssey in search of the perfect input device, tired of the wear and tear on my body that my current setup was causing. I was periodically pinching nerves on the same side of my neck as the arm I used to reach for my ergonomic mouse. The pain would last only a day or two, but it was a warning.

Computer mice cause the most computer injuries, says Deborah Quilter, author of The Repetitive Strain Injury Recovery Book and the Web site ( From having previously tested out different mice and trackballs, I concluded it wasn’t my mouse itself that was causing me problems but my repetitive reaching for it.

So I hunted around for keyboards with built-in pointing devices, which would let me keep my arms close to my body, and for other ways to heal myself. The good news is that I believe I’ve succeeded, even though I didn’t find the perfect solution. The bad news is that my solution may not work for you. Although we all share much of our physiology, we’re all different as well. On the other hand, perhaps on…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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