First off, I’ve never seen so many standing desks in my life as I have since I started working with wonderful creatives. Perhaps it’s because they know they will be there for 12 hours a day. Perhaps it’s just part of that healthy lifestyle I keep hearing about—walking, biking and kale. Regardless, it’s just smart.
But do you have an ergonomic mouse? Did you know there was such a thing?
Ergonomics is about more than standardizing our tools so that they were actually designed with the human body in mind, it’s about making everything customizable so that everything can be exactly right for you.
Long ago, the military did a lengthy analysis of all of the enlisted men by measurements. Height, weight, reach—everything from eye-level to shoe size—were all quantified and listed in order. The mean, median and mode—all mathematical averages—were considered, and the new airplanes, tanks and other vehicles were designed assuming everyone was right in the middle of every list. This way, if a soldier was a little taller or shorter than average, he would have to reach or scrunch some, but no one would have to go far, and they expected to see a decline in accidents by making the controls more accessible to the “average” man.
Accidents went up. When interviewing soldiers to determine the cause, most had something to do with an inability to reach something, or something that was hard to get to for someone too tall for the space. While everyone was close to the measurements they chose, they built the new aircraft with measurements for a hypothetical normal that didn’t exist. Not one soldier was near average with every measurement, and in effect they had custom build airplanes for no one.
It was determined that the answer wasn’t to change the measurements again, it was to make the measurements changeable. Thus, adjustable seats were born, airplanes stopped falling out of the sky and accident statistics fell sharply instead.
But we were talking about a computer mouse. There’s an adjustable mouse—a mouse that literally clicks into position to accommodate a range of sizes, from hands as small as mine to hands that can cover the entire top of a basketball. I don’t know about you, but before I saw one, I didn’t think about the mouse as being non-ergonomic. I’ve had some that were a weird shape that supposedly fit the hand better, but they weren’t all that, and none of them adjusted. This was a whole new world for me.
Something else I never saw in ergonomics before—rollers. Instead of just supporting the wrist, what if we use a roller bar so that we are gliding from one activity to the next? Once you see it, you’ll wonder why it took humans this long to think of that, and you’ll also be super impressed that a human thought of that.
If you are standing, or sitting, and you have ergonomic stuff, or want some, or if you’re just interested in seeing new things in the world of the keyboard and mouse, check it out.
It would be nice to be able to get all new everything, but that’s usually not possible. It’s the little things that can make such a big difference to your day, and thankfully, the little things are less expensive than the big things. Maybe do something nice for yourself and invest in a new keyboard and mouse. It’s not a bank-breaker, and as you glide on a roller from one task to the next, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate your new gift to yourself over and over again, every day. It’s not the end to world hunger, but if it makes the day just a little bit better, you’re worth it.