RA and Keyboarding and Mousing (is mousing a word?) article

Was out randomly looking at the internet this morning (I LOVE days off during times when I can actually quietly just surf) and I found a really cool article on the OndIndia website dealing with whether RA impacts people’s ability to type and mouse.

I was a little surprised at the results… or maybe at the way the results were couched…

Touch typing made a positive impact on typing speed for people with RA (pretty sure touch typing helps people without RA, too… .) but that older people with RA had poor-er mousing skills and speed than younger people.  Somehow that isn’t (as an “older” person) come as a great surprise to me.  I’m not sure that the difference is in age or in RA.  I am leaning a bit more towards the age of the person.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that older people without RA don’t do so great mousing either… it is, I think, more of a cultural difference between “older” and “younger” or maybe just a decrease in  response time overall…

I would be interested in reading the whole set of findings…

per the article…

“The findings of the study have been published in the February issue of Arthritis Care and Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology. (ANI)”

I guess I realized that RA hasn’t slowed me down any typing… maybe in duration I can tolerate some days, but not in speed… It was suggested that I didn’t actually hurt the way I thought I hurt (before I was diagnosed) but that I was just overusing my hands and wrists (and feet and ankels and…. ) but when the blood work doesn’t lie, that argument went out the window.  Actually, I have found that typing (and crocheting) makes my hands and even wrists feel looser and less stiff if I ease into it in the morning…

It is good to know, though, that “older workers” aren’t being found to be any less capable than anyone else.


2 responses to “RA and Keyboarding and Mousing (is mousing a word?) article

  1. Thanks for pointing out that studying on rheumatoid arthritis and typing/mousing skills. I too wonder if the difference they found is related to age or RA. In any case, do you know of any specific mobility aids or tools that people can use to help with their typing/ mousing skills when they have rheumatoid arthritis? Do they make special keyboards?


    • You know… it’s funny… I guess (since I haven’t had to adapt to that degree yet…) I hadn’t really looked very far into that end of adaptable (or adapted?) stuff. This morning (in MTX loopienss) I went hunting…


      One that looks really interesting… it isn’t SPECIFICALLY designed for RA but is designed for disabilities… is The Magic Wand Keyboard . It is interesting… zero force keyboard and mouse. It wouldn’t probably do a lot of good if you area already proficient at touch typing, but it does look like it would be far less tiring to use, once you got the hang of it.

      An alternative mouse that is apparently “recognized” by the arthritis foundation is The Quill. From a purely geek perspective, it looks wicked cool… And just looking at the ad it looks like it would work kind of like a touch pad, with most of the mouse cursor movement controlled by finger movement over a sensor, but that is just supposition…

      There are infrared heated mice and keyboards and many articles site, simply, ergonomic set ups (but all things considered… I’m not entirely sure that that would be sufficient long term as the disease progresses…

      There is an interesting UK article HERE with some suggestions. It was written in 2007 but a good bit of it still applies. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a good alternative but training it, if you use very specific vocabulary (like the work ASCII that dragon will consistently translate to @$$ key so you have to spell it out all the time) can be trying to your nerves… The company that wrote the article is in the UK and some of the cited information is UK directly related, but much of the non-legislative stuff is universal.

      I found several (some in stock, some not currently available… thanks loads) keyboards with built in touch pads… some touch pads in the center, some on the right (which would be less efficient for lefty people… ) that might also be worth looking at… I may actually ask for one of these for my birthday… hmmm… my Rheumy did tell me that if I can find ways to use a touch pad, it will be better than a mouse… a roller ball rather than a mouse (it stays in one place and you move the ball on the top of the device with your fingers) helps depending on your range of motion…

      One thing that has been frustrating to me is (when my hands get bad) I can’t use my Wacom tablet device. I love being able to switch to using hand written rather than “just” typed in stuff and it is easy to teach… but when my fingers get really funky… I can’t seem to make the pen work the way it is supposed to. If it were a little bigger around maybe it would be better…

      I will keep digging on this… You have me thinking now… and compiling this kind of information seems like it is necessary as there really isn’t any one place to go… hmmmmmm

      Hope this helps for now… or is a place to start…


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