Analyzing the Ergonomics: Trackpads Versus Mice



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For an article that has ergonomics in the title, and three "experts" on the authoring panel, there is quite a dearth of ergonomics information available. Yes, I have a trackpad and yes I am pleased to see that it is advantageous to a mouse - however the article fails to address those risks identified by one of the panel members - namely, "the trackpad needs to be placed in an ergonomically correct position, or 'it will put the hands into wrist extension and increase the risks of an RSI,' ". Please revise the article, add an addendum or post the "ergonomically correct use of a trackpad" here for those of us with concerns about this important aspect of computing - especially important for folks like myself who are in our 60s and at greater risk of RSI.




I have used a Logitech track ball for years. I have found it easier to use than the Kensington Expert ball.
I am going to try the Magic Pad this week and will see what the results are. I’ll post my opinion, FWIW



Maybe its just me, but unless im gaming, I love using trackpads. most mouses do cause my wrist and fingers to get tired after long use, but track pads seem more natural to me. I think it may be because the track pad is letting your fingers manipulate a horizontal surface, rather that moving erratically and lifting fingers in awkward positions to click (unless your using an apple mouse, there most of the mouse is a button and simply apply pressure, and you have your click).
Track pads are beautiful in the way you can use multi-touch gestures. I believe that mouses just dont supply the ability and precision of a trackpad. Mouses are great for large motions, and long drags and sweeps (ie: turning around in FPS, or scanning large areas for RTS like starcraft).



My preference, from most to least desirable:

1. Large trackball, controlled with index, middle, and ring fingers, like the Kensington Expert Mouse.
2. Trackpad
3. Mouse with ample height to support my palm. The overly "ergonomic" shapes that are right-hand-specific aren't really an improvement as far as I'm concerned (even though I'm a right-handed mouser).
4. Overly flat mice, like the magic mouse, or original iMac hockey puck.
5. Motion-sensing mid-air mice, like a Wii controller or the iPhone running Mobile Mouse Pro (
6. Thumb-controlled trackballs. These stink.

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