It’s common for most people to do the majority of their computing and communications using a desktop computer or a smartphone. For some people, their time is largely spent with one device or another. Someone with a desk job might spent 8 hours on a desktop computer. Others may read text messages, write emails, and follow Facebook using a smartphone. For many people, their time spent using technology may be 12 or more hours per day.
Here are five technologies you should consider using to diversify the stress placed on your body by today’s technology.
#1 Touch Screen
For part of your workday, using a touch screen computer or tablet device, helps get your hands away from the repetitive use of mice and keyboards. The light touch controls of touch screens are easy on the hands. This technology is especially well suited for reading and browsing the web.
An Apple iPad or Android tablet can be an excellent relief from smartphone overuse. Single-handed smartphone use places a repetitive stress on the hands as some fingers curl to hold the phone while other uncomfortably stretch to reach keys.
With a touch screen, regardless of whether we’re left handed or right handed, it’s possible to easily use both hands for interacting with the computer. This isn’t necessarily the case with a mouse or pen.
#2 Touch Pad Pointer
There are a number of touch pads available as alternatives to using a mouse. A touch pad offers a low-impact interface for navigation that’s similar to a touch screen in terms of placing minimal stress on the hands. Larger more sensitive track pads with multiple gestures are ideal. Touch pads specifically designed for Windows may offer greater support and programability. For Apple computer users, the Apple trackpad has a large surface, sensitive touch, and multiple gestures.
With a touch pad pointer, regardless of whether we’re left handed or right handed, it’s possible to easily use both hands for interacting with the computer. This isn’t necessarily the case with a mouse or pen.
A capacity stylus works with a variety of touch surfaces as an alternative to using your fingers. An additional benefit of a large trackpad like the one described above is that you can use a stylus as an additional alternate pointing device. A stylus can also be used on an iPad or other tablet device.
#4 Light Weight Mouse
More expensive mice offer more features, but they can sometimes be heavier than the chapter models. For about $8, Dell has a simple USB optical mouse that is very light weight and includes mouse buttons that require very little force to click. The Apple Magic Mouse is a wireless bluetooth mouse that’s a bit heavier than the Dell, but the surface is touch sensitive allowing for light touch interactions.
#5 Short-Travel Keyboard
Traditional keyboards have long-travel keys that require more effort to type on. In recent years, short-travel keyboards have become popular, especially in laptop computers as a space saving measure. Wired USB or wireless bluetooth keyboards can be purchased that will offer a less stressful typing experience. Apple keyboards offer an excellent design in this regard and the new Magic Keyboard has an even shorter key travel. Popular Windows keyboards typically have short-travel keys.
#6 Voice Recognition Dictation
In recent years, voice recognition and transcription has made voice to text dictation possible with greater accuracy. By speaking rather than typing, it’s possible to write the equivalent speed of 80 to 100 words per minute with close to 100% accuracy depending on the vocabulary you’re using. Spending some of your day dictating emails can provide an excellent alternative to typing. Combine this with walking and it’s possible to get some great exercise in as well. Voice recognition is common in smartphones. The newer Apple operating systems include dictation built-in. So, taking to type is possible even while at the desktop.
#7 Drawing Pad
Drawing pads are fairly inexpensive and they can be a good alternative pointing device that gets your hands off the keyboard or mouse by using a pen as an alternative.