5 Ergonomic Gifts that Promote Computer Health

5 Ergonomic Gifts that Promote Computer Health

Looking for a holiday gift that will help keep the person you care about computing in good health?� Here are five ideas that promote healthy computing.
  1. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboards 4000 & 7000
    Microsoft teamed with ergonomists to design the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 with the goal of producing a keyboard that would improve comfort and reduce repetitive injuries.� The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 7000 offers the same features with 2.4 GHz Wireless technology with up to 30 feet of wireless range.

    �Natural� describes a more neutral placement of the hand, wrist and forearm in the positions that are the least stressful and the least awkward while typing.� This is important because stressful exertions, awkward positioning and repetition are three of the main risk factors for the development of a repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis.

    See the full review - Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboards 4000 & 7000
  1. The Evoluent Vertical Mouse
    The Evoluent VerticalMouse has a patented, unique design that places the forearm in a neutral, hand-shake position rather than in a palm-down position. This relieves pressure on muscles and compression on nerves in the forearm that may become tight and pinched during long hours of computing with the forearm positioned in the palm-down pose.

    See the full review - The Evoluent Vertical Mouse - A Product Review
  1. Book Review - Repetitive Strain Injury - A Computer User's Guide
    Repetitive Strain Injury � A Computer User�s Guide, is highly recommended for anyone who works on a computer or at a desk. Dr. Pascarelli,, considered to be one of the world's leading authorities on repetitive strain injuries, wrote this easy-to-read and concise summary of his approach to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). It was one of the first written about RSIs, and it continues to be one of the best.

    See the full book review - Repetitive Strain Injury - A Computer User's Guide
  1. An Ergonomic Pen
    Pilot produced the Dr. Grip pen, the first ergonomically-designed pen available to the general market, in 1995. The Dr. Grip is designed to relieve writing stress and fatigue for those with disabilities that impact writing ability (for example: arthritis, repetitive strain injuries). It is a wide-barreled pen with a cushioned, soft-rubber grip. The larger grip reduces the amount of force needed to hold the pen. The rubber provides a bit of traction that also reduces the force needed to hold the pen. This pen is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation for Ease-of-Use. It is available in a ballpoint pen, gel-ink pen, rolling ball pen, mechanical pencil, and multi-function (combined mechanical pencil and retractable ball-point pen).
  1. An Adjustable Keyboard Tray, Mouse Tray & Monitor Stand
    Awkward positioning, repetitive movements, and forceful exertions are three of the leading risk factors for developing repetitive strain injuries.� Ergonomic positioning at the computer desk can eliminate some of these risk factors.

    The desk should be of appropriate height to support work tasks. Most desks are too high for typing tasks. A sliding keyboard tray positioned underneath the desk will lower the keyboard to a good typing height. When typing, the shoulders should be relaxed, the elbows resting at your sides, and the forearms parallel to the floor or slightly slanted down.

    The elbows, shoulders and ears should all line-up when sitting at the keyboard. The head should be held directly above the shoulders, not jutted forward. The shoulders should be relaxed and straight, not rounded forward. The arms should rest at the sides with the elbows directly below the shoulders. The keyboard and mouse should be at appropriate heights and locations so that the arms do not need to reach forward to activate the keys.

    The forearms are in a palm down, or pronated, position. The neutral position is with the forearm rotated so that the thumbs are up and the palms face towards each other. Some split keyboards allow for each half of the keyboard to be elevated so that an upside down v-shape is formed. This rotates the forearms into a more neutral position. Vertical mice also help to position the forearms in a neutral position.

    For more information �
Marji Hajic is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist practicing at the Hand Therapy & Occupational Fitness Center in Santa Barbara, California.�For more information on hand and upper extremity injuries, prevention and recovery, visit Hand Health Resources.

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Book Review - Repetitive Strain Injury - A Computer User's Guide

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