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For many people, a trackball is just a weird-looking mouse without a purpose. Usually, these are people who have never used a trackball before. Or they don’t know what is it to work hours each day on your computer.
A trackball is a computer mouse specially designed to help decrease repeated, low-impact movements. These devices are larger than traditional mice, but they are shaped for the palm of your hand.
Speaking about the design, there are two main variants: thumb-operated and finger-operated.
Why Should I Use A Trackball Mouse?
The traditional mouse literally forces you to adjust your hand to match its design. This leaves you with a stressed hand. This type of mouse is not good if you plan to use a computer for hours each day.
That’s where trackball comes in the play. This mouse offers full control, comfort, and less motion of your hand. It is designed to provide less fatiguing for some repeating tasks and can be used by people with carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.
Advantages of using a trackball
Trackballs are ambidextrous: The mouse with the ball on the top can be used whether you are right or left-handed.
Accuracy and speed: Trackballs are popular among graphic designers (not only them) because they are more precise and accurate than a traditional mouse.
Ergonomics: A mouse with ergonomic design is a must-have if you plan to use a mouse for hours each day. This is the number one priority. Trackballs are specially designed to provide less fatiguing for some tasks and can be used by people with carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.
Trackball mouse can be used in a smaller space: One of the main advantages of using a trackball is the absence of a mouse´s movement. You are using the scroll the wheel (on the top or side) to move the cursor on the screen – not the mouse.
Disadvantages of using a trackball
Trackballs are larger
Doesn’t perform as well on some simple activities
Should I Buy Trackball Mouse?
It’s all about personal preference. If you don’t mind that your wrist is at an unnatural angle for many hours of the day, then a traditional mouse is for you. The same goes for people who use their computer only for a short time.
However, if you are struggling with hand pain, or using a computer for hours in a single day, the ergonomic mouse is for you. It’s proven, that these devices reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Repetitive strain injury, RSI, is damage caused to the shoulders, elbows, upper arm, and wrist due to repetitive movement. Anyone who uses a computer regularly is at risk and should know about RSI.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand. Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers.
While trackballs require less movement and offer more comfort and less fatigue for some tasks, even people with CTS and RSI can use it. It is not a prevention, just a tool.