07. 31. 2006
Zero tension mouse
How about buying yourself a mouse that resembles the beacon light on a cop’s vehicle? Nah…. What if it were designed particularly to prevent RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) in long term computer users? Now it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, does it ?
The Zero Tension Mouse (ZTM) is a vertical mouse made completely of plastic and is based on the very popular “Active Release Technique” propounded by Dr. Michael Leahy for treating repetitive motion injuries. This technique claims that if the muscles can remain relaxed during activity and yet perform the desired function, motion injuries can be prevented. And the ZTM is designed to do just that. You place the mouse directly on a flat surface and wrap your entire hand around it (consider this similar to gripping a joystick). In the bargain, the back of your hand actually rests on a curved seat that will enable you to move the mouse away from your body without requiring any extra effort – and hence the name “Zero Tension Mouse.” There are grooves on the handle which are designed to hold your fingers as you wrap them around it. With the fingers thus wrapped around the handle, your index finger will touch the right mouse button, and the middle finger, the left mouse button. What about the scroll wheel? Your thumb, lying on the top of the handle, is free to operate the scroll wheel placed on the top surface. Which means that the work is evenly divided among the fingers and takes away undue strain on any one finger at all times.
Though this might seem a big change in the way traditional horizontal mice (that we have gotten so used to) are used, it is a change for the better because the ZTM will force you to place your hand vertically at a 90 degree angle and close to your body. And that means no strain on your arm and a completely relaxed hand.
It's a plug-and-play device – meaning no installation software is required -- and it's compatible with Windows 98 and higher and Mac OS 8.6 and higher. The device is available in small, medium and large sizes (unfortunately the left-handed version is not yet available). The large size is around 4.5 inches tall, 3.4 inches wide, and 5.6 inches deep and is the only model to be available in a cool minty blue, while the others are in black. At $80 a piece it may seem expensive, but is definitely worthwhile in the long run because of the health benefits it offers. In all, definitely a must-have on your list if you are a computer addict like me.