Ergonomic Touchpads

Written by Sierra Rein
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Ergonomic touchpads are very convenient if one is experiencing any pain associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive stress disorders. A touchpad is a piece of embedded plastic, typically in the form of a square or rectangle, that is sensitive to minute pressure. A small movement of a finger across the surface sends an electronic signal through the pad to the computer processor. This signal is translated by the computer as a command to the pointer, which then moves across the screen in accordance with the finger's direction and speed.

An ergonomic touchpad is one that--following common ergonomic philosophies--is placed within easy reach of the typist's hands. This allows him to control the pointer without moving his wrist from the keyboard. A small adjustment, not a large action, is all that is necessary to reach the keypad and move the pointer to a new position.

This simple design can save an individual a lot of wear and tear and can reduce the possibility of developing a repetitive strain injury. Most ergonomic touchpads are powerful and practical enough to replace computer mouses and trackballs. Some touchpads also have programmable buttons on either side for single and double clicking, hold and drag properties, or instant-open application functions.

Choosing a Keyboard with an Ergonomic Touchpad

The first thing to consider when choosing between all the ergonomic touchpads out there is where you wish to have the touchpad located. Some people prefer to have it located between and just below the location of the thumbs, while others like to have it directly below the preferred leading hand (usually the right hand for right-handed people and the left for those who are left-handed). The next decision to make is whether or not you want a keyboard with an optional USB port for a second touchpad. This is a great alternative if you wish to use one touchpad to click and the other to drag and drop, or if you desire full ambidextrous control of the pointer.

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