Question: I am a software engineer who has to do a lot of graphics screen design work. When I have used a touchpad (mouse system used on laptops that uses a finger positioned on an electronic pad to guide the mouse) I have not had a problem with pain in my mouse hand. I am about to purchase a touchpad (manufacturer is ‘Fellowes’) from the online supplier MISCO. I shall let you know how I get on with it, but I am sure it will be more comfortable to use than a horrible standard mouse. The problem with a mouse is that most of them are just not designed properly (this so called ‘ergonomic design’ thing, has to be taken with a large pinch of salt in my opinion, and could be just another marketing ploy for the hardware).
I have to admit I have not tried a trackball mouse, but you might like to see if this helps. I have heard that some like them. See www.misco.co.uk for possibilities. For the Fellowes track pad, this is the only UK retailer that I can find on the web that sells them, but I only spent one evening looking. Price is =A335 + VAT roughly.
Pain: My main problem is pain over the back of the hand, and in the area behind the wrist. I feel sure that I could stop this with greater care in typing, and also changing to a pad, because the need to double click with the index finger seems to bring it on. I have tried to use the ‘select and press enter’ method; this is slower, but not much, and things are better this week.
Answer 1: The Fellowes standard touchpad is a good product. I have now got one, and am having good results. If you are interested, then please send me a message and I will send you a webpage with the model etc. It can with all PC’s with Windows (or is meant to), and the nice thing is that you don’t have to load any special software for this model. It works with you current mouse setup. My problems have crept on over the past year, but only after doing my job for about 4 and 1/2 years. (See notes below already sent to one of you). I would be interested to hear from others who have similar symptoms, obviously. Total price for the device from < http://www.misco.co.uk/ > 46.29 inc delivery and VAT.
Answer 2: The Fellowes touchbpads are usually rebadged (hence cheaper) Cirque pads. The Cirque Cruisecat pad is excellent. At home I have an “original” at work a Fellowes “Internet Touchpad, same software, only real difference being the badge (and the lack of a foam wrist rest with the Fellowes version).
Answer 3: I’m very interested to be sent details of the touch pad. I’ve only been in my job for 6 months, and the future is a worry, I’m sick of the constant pain and can’t bear to think that it’s gonna get worse… I have not a clue which direction to take, as Graphic Design is my life. I’m wondering also if I can take any action for compensation… Is RSI recognised in the courts?