Fun with Ergonomics ~ Outside the Margins with Brigham Vaughn

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A few weeks ago my left wrist decided to stage a rebellion. There was a deep ache that got worse every time I moved my hand and it felt very tight and a bit swollen. I’d been writing, of course, plus doing yoga, and swimming a three or four times a week. I also sleep funny, with my wrist curled in toward my chest or with my arm dangling over the edge of the mattress. It puts a lot of strain on my wrists, so I wasn’t altogether surprised that it was finally telling me that I’d done too much.

The pain wasn’t in the right spot for it to be carpal tunnel (thank all the holy things) so it looked like a simple case of tendonitis. I could live with that. I iced it a lot and wrapped it in an Ace bandage and rested it for a few days. I eventually upgraded to a wrist brace and that helped even more.


I decided it was time to take a look at my keyboard. I had a basic wireless keyboard that worked just fine, but with the number of hours I spend typing, I knew it was probably time I invested in something more ergonomic. I did a bunch of online research and talked to my cousin who is a mechanical engineer, specializing in workplace ergonomics. SO HANDY. I braced myself for the knowledge I might have to spend a couple hundred dollars, but after talking with her we both came to the conclusion that I probably didn’t need to go for the full split keyboard or a vertical one. The Microsoft Sculpt Ergo keyboard would suit my needs perfectly. It got rave reviews online and I went to an office supply store to test it out and see if it felt comfortable.

It’s a little bit of a mind shift to re-learn to type. Apparently travel (crossing hands to type ‘B’ and ‘Y’ is very common. I didn’t have a problem with the ‘Y’ but I learned that my right hand used to travel over to the ‘B’ key.  Whoops. My typing was slow and error-filled at first, but I’m finally getting used to it. My biggest problems seem to be mixing up the ‘V’ and the ‘B’ and the ‘N’ and the ‘M’. I’ve been taking it easy, only writing a few hours a day and I’m slowly working back up to swimming three times a week and doing yoga twice a week. I still sleep with the wrist brace on in order to re-train the way I sleep. I do exercises to warm up and strengthen my wrists and forearms twice a day (before and after writing).

But overall, I feel pretty lucky. My wrist is healing and the changes I made should (hopefully) stave off the dreaded carpal tunnel or another bout of tendonitis.

The one sticking point is what mouse to get. There is a matching mouse for the keyboard, but it got dismal reviews. Every mouse that has overall great reviews saying it reduces wrist strain also has negative reviews saying it’s terrible for people with small hands. What do you know, I have small hands. sighs In addition, there are also apparently three different ‘grips’ people use to hold their mouse. Palm, Claw, and Fingertip. I use a fingertip grip. I’m at a loss about how to find the best mouse.


I’d love to hear from you, especially if you have small hands and use a fingertip grip. What mouse would you recommend? My right wrist would really like to avoid the pain the left one has been experiencing lately!

~Brigham Vaughn

About Brigham Vaughn

Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell. After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. In the little time that isn’t spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year-old home. Brigham lives in Michigan with her three cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.

Contact Brigham:
Twitter: @AuthorBVaughn

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