As laptop uses increases manufacturers are always trying to come up with new ways to make them smaller and more compact. One of these is to reduce the input device to minimise space. One of these ideas is a nipple mouse – the tiny button in the middle of the text keys that allows you to control the cursor, similar to a touch pad that is usually positioned under the space bar.
Some people like the idea that they do not have to move their hand off the keys to activate the mouse, unlike a touch pad and its not the placement that’s an issue it’s the strain on the fingers to operate.
Although it seems like a good idea and it does save space we are coming across a number of problems from prolonged use of laptop nipples. This is particularly noticeable where people use their laptops most of the day even at their desk. The reason they are having problems is that controlling a nipple requires frequent, tiny movements of the finger joints which are not what finger joints were designed to do. Some of the symptoms include painful, swollen, or tender joints, particularly the middle finger joint of the third finger.
If you are starting to show these symptoms than there really is only one answer and that is to stop using nipples. To do this.
1. Buy a laptop/notebook with a touch pad
2. Use an external mouse that you attach to your laptop when ever you are going to use it for extended periods – say 20 minutes or more. Obviously this is more difficult if you are using it in transit, for example on a train. For more information on mouse placement.
3. Organise your computer tasks – when you cannot use an external mouse or touch pad because you are travelling on a train than try to do tasks that do not require constant mouse work. Find tasks that just involve text inputting and save the ones that require mouse work until you can set your laptop up properly.
4. Start using keyboard shortcuts