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Computer Health : How much is too much? (Part 4) - Pest control, A brighter view, Stretch it out

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Pest control

Pointing devices are a cluttered field, so again I turn to my relaxed arm theory. Put your arm on a level surface and consider its shape. More often than not, our arms aren't exactly flat, rather turning outwards with the inside of the elbow join pointing slightly upwards rather than wholly inwards.

Description: Ergonomic mice

Ergonomic mice

This is why ergonomic mice exist and also why a fair amount of gaming mice are designed in a lopsided manner - to make the hand come to rest in a more natural state. It's also why symmetrical mice are as welcoming for left-and right-handed people being flat and so perhaps not being ideal. Grip mice, ergonomic mice and the like are looking to put your hand in a prime position for perfect support and natural positioning. And, like with chairs and anything else you'll be using for a while, support and tension free use is key.

Gaming-wise, the Moniz Nanos, Rocket Kona and Raptor M3 Platinum MP3 mouse all have elements of an ergonomic design ethos. You can even get the MS 4000 keyboard mentioned above as a '7000 desktop set' with a wireless MS ergonomic mouse for $62 all in. The Ortho mouse makes a good fist of things (sorry), but has a bit of a lightweight construction for me (and costs $110), while products like the Emolument Vertical Mouse 3 might go just too far in turning your hand. Unfortunately, though, there's a bit of a dearth of 'left-handed' ergonomic mice, which makes me glad I decided form a young age that being left-handed in mouse use was a fruitless endeavor.

A brighter view

So there you have it. Hopefully, all or some of this information has got you thinking about how you feel and what you do when you're at a computer. If you're fatigued, suffering back or joint pain, headaches, tight calves or anything else when you step away from your home or work system, perhaps you need to look at the way your engaging with it. Are you sitting comfortably? If not, question why. But even if you are, don't forget to take breaks and stand up occasionally. Which reminds me: if you've been sat down all the while reading this, now's as good a time as any to have a bit of a stretch.

Description: If you're fatigued, suffering back or joint pain, headaches, tight calves or anything else when you step away from your home or work system, perhaps you need to look at the way your engaging with it.

If you're fatigued, suffering back or joint pain, headaches, tight calves or anything else when you step away from your home or work system, perhaps you need to look at the way your engaging with it.

Stretch it out

Don't only take breaks from sitting at a computer, stand there for a bit and sit back down again. Stretching is a very good way to work out any knots of tension, encourage blood flow, and undo what is done by sitting at a desk. The most complete set of stretches I've found can be seen at www. webmd.com, and specifically at tinyurl.com/12stretches, where you'll find 12 stretches recommended by orthopedic surgeons and “exercise specialists"

Description: Stretching is a very good way to work out any knots of tension, encourage blood flow, and undo what is done by sitting at a desk.

Stretching is a very good way to work out any knots of tension, encourage blood flow, and undo what is done by sitting at a desk

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